A Simple Heart Essay

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In the following excerpt, Denommé argues that Flaubert's style in "A Simple Heart" leads the reader to feel sympathy with the main character despite her delusions.

Despite Flaubert's vigorous disclaimer to the contrary, a number of critics of recent vintage have been prompted to interpret " Un Coeur simple" as an ironic commentary on human stupidity and on stultifying bourgeois attitudes. Flaubert's writings prior to 1876, to be sure, virtually resound with pages of biting satire and bitter irony; Madame Bovary, Salammbô and L'Education sentimentale all attack virulently, at strategic intervals, the vacuity of many social, political and religious institutions. What distinguishes "Un Coeur simple" from the previously completed stories, however, is the discernible shift of tone and mood that the narrative assumes. Indeed, the remarkable fusion of tenderness with what Victor Brombert [in The Novels of Flaubert: A Study of Themes and Techniques, 1966] so aptly terms "refined...

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This section contains 2,674 words
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Buy the A Simple Heart Study Guide
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A Simple Heart from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.