A Simple Heart Essay

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In the following excerpt, Madsen asserts that Flaubert provides a realistic depiction of the setting, incidents, and characters of "A Simple Heart." Madsen concludes by relating Flaubert's pessimistic realism and objective tone to his use of irony.

"Un Coeur Simple," published in 1877 in Trois Contes, is a work of Flaubert's maturity. In this realistic nouvelle about the disappointments and bereavements of a self-sacrificing, simple-hearted servant girl from Normandy, Flaubert has certainly not given up the pessimism which found such bitter expressions in Madame Bovary. But, in spite of the inclusion in "Un Coeur Simple" of at least one very painful episode, and the general depressing effect of the gradual "running down" of Félicité's life, the overall impression which the reader gets from the short story is not exclusively one of bitterness. Perhaps the tone of the work may be tentatively described as one of...

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This section contains 2,793 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
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.