“A Simple Heart” by Gustav Flaubert fallows the life and times of a servant girl named Felicitï¿½. The protagonist is a hardworking, good-hearted, poor and uneducated woman named Fï¿½licitï¿½. The duration of A Simple Heart has a common theme of loss. Through her experiences we learn that loss is ineveitable, even if you do nothing wrong. The positive is the redemption to her losses is an angelic afterlife. We see the protagonist constantly have to face abandonement of a beloved character several times. The author suggests a beautiful redemption to her life, as her faith and goodness is saved by her beloved parrot was portrayed as a pure and loving character and receives a deserved end to her life.Order now
The story begins with serving as a hardworking and diligent servant for Madame Aubain. She is a good and caring servant, and even gets along with Madame Aubain, who isn’t easy to work with. Her present state becomes surprising for the reader when they are told of her traumatizing past. At a young age both her mother and father die, she is also separated from her sister and left to fend for herself. She is taken in as working hand on a farm where is abused and eventually evicted due to a false crime.
She was very young and that must have left a deep wound to her. Another occupation on a farm is given to her, which is where she meets Theodore and begins a romance with him. Theodore even proposes marriage. One evening when she goes to meet him, she is met by a friend of his, who tells her Theodore has decided to marry someone who can pay to keep him from being drafted into the army. This seems like the saddest of her losses because Theodore had shown the feeling of finally being loved and taken it away. She leaves the farm and is hired by Madame Aubain.
In spite of her past losses she continues her life and loves, yet there are even more losses she faces. The children of Madame Aubain, Paul and Virginie are sent off to school far away so she begins to focus on the. Fï¿½licitï¿½ feels abandoned by the children who she clearly loved and the reader is shown the depth of her sensitivity as she was deeply distraught by her absence “…could not settle to anything, lost her sleep, and, to use her own words, was ‘eaten up inside’.” (Flaubert 32)
She becomes close with her nephew Victor, who soon leaves her as well, bound by ship for Cuba. She soon receives a letter of his death from her brother in law. This deeply disturbs her because she was always worried something like that would happen. Virginie soon dies from a lung disease and keeps vigil by the body for two nights and prepares it for burial. This shows her deep devotion bravery for the child, even though she is once again abandoned by another person she is still strong. A few years later Fï¿½licitï¿½ becomes increasingly fascinated by a parrot given to Madame Aubain. She becomes attached to the bird so when it disappears she loses her hearing for the search of it.
When her parrot disappears, her frantic efforts to find him prove fruitless, although the bird comes back on his own. Toward the end, she is physically diminishing, growing smaller, becoming deaf. She hears, literally and figuratively, only the voice of the parrot, and the parrot can only repeat empty phrases. ”The little circle of her ideas grew narrower and narrower.” (Flaubert 46) Thus her small world becomes ever smaller. The theme that loss is inevitable, become the one theme as her death approaches.
Through all the loss and despair that Fï¿½licitï¿½ has she remains loving and goodness. Despite a life of hard work, repeated disappointment, and the gradual loss of everyone dear to her, she is unwavering in her faith. As she grows older, the stuffed parrot becomes her Holy Spirit in the form of a dove that she sees in religious paintings and stained-glass windows. Her redemption is her vision of the heavens opening and the Holy Ghost descending upon her in the form of a giant parrot, and she dies smiling.
The parrot is symbolism for the vehicle through which Fï¿½licitï¿½ experiences divinity. Felicite was never formerly educated on religion and her faith to church began with her being required to accompany her young charge to her religion classes. Her devotion can be perceived as random and conditional, because she first upon it as a result of hearing stories of familial country life. Her devotion to the church is not based on an embrace of its beliefs: “Of doctrines she understood nothing – did not even try to understand.” (Flaubert 25) So even though her belief in the church is provisional her belief in god is concrete. She is heavily devoted to the parrot who becomes god for her, he is her holy spirit. She dies smiling while her faith is saved by the parrot.
Felicite is a woman who was good and never sinned, yet she faced loss and despair because it was inevitable. Felicite’s seems like one filled with despair yet it all comes back to the same cycle of life. This just goes to show us that life comes full circle. She was pure, and her capacity to love is her wealth and at the end her faith is saved. Even though she was so different the other characters of the text, she too passes away at the end, ending her simple life.