Simple

In: Historical Events

Submitted By emkatch
Words 1535
Pages 7
Attempting to define how Flaubert wanted the reader to view religion in his short story “A Simple Heart” is frustratingly beautiful. The title figure, Felicite has been variously interpreted by many regarding her representation of religion. Her unsophistication is not to be viewed as a hindrance as it allows her to share a saintly relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Sprit had been reduced to taxidermy as it is portrayed as Felicite’s pet parrot Loulou. Felicite’s quasi-satirical world of spirituality had been diminished to something so non-permanent it made the story difficult to evaluate seriously with regards to religion. However, upon reevaluating the role Loulou played in Felicite’s life and her hardships “A Simple Heart” becomes a compelling tale about a triumphant spiritual journey. This story could easily be dismissed as an artless tale about a woman who experienced adversity and amounted to nothing. But, with some true thought and open-mindedness it is evident that Felicite is truly worthy of sainthood through her dedication to her religion, loved-ones and hard work.

Flaubert did not make religion extremely obvious all the time in this story. Felicite was an extremely selfless, illiterate maid who devoted most of her life to other people. There were no extraordinary measures or miracles that are standard in declaring saints but Felicite’s unwavering faith is enough. Everyone she is close to including her beloved parrot Loulou that she stuffs after its death eventually deserts her. This pushes her closer to her faith as it became a replacement for her physical and emotional losses.

Throughout the entire story, Flaubert utilized Loulou as a way for the Holy Spirit to be constantly present. Although using this as a symbol for something so sacred almost inhibits one to grant Felicite sainthood. Her overwhelming attachment to Loulou is…...

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