The Only People That Matter A.K.A Everyone

The main character in “A Simple Heart” by Gustave Flaubert, Félicité, embodies the instincts of most women through her ability to cling to everyone and anyone that held a space in her heart. Despite what Flaubert saying the story is “not at all ironic”, I find it to be ironic because her heart has a simple way of loving everyone, each in there own way. Flaubert romanticizes the heart of a woman through Félicité’s love for the people in her life.

Being a maidservant, Félicité had many roles with the home and the children but through out the story she exemplified the importance of the people in her life. An example would be when they were in the field and the bull attacked. Félicité took control, creating a diversion as the children and Madame Aubain ran away to safety. Her diversion of throwing mud in the bull’s eyes was simple yet smart and heroic but “Félicité had never prided herself in the least on what she had done, as it never occurred to her that she had done anything heroic”. I think that this mindset says a lot about how she cares and protects those in her life. Félicité also cares about her nephew in a sweet but almost creepy way. He came to visit her in order to ‘occupy her time’ and they spent time in each other’s company. The bond of attachment that was illustrated in the story was strong considering when he left her, she “thought of nothing but her nephew”. This relationship between her and her nephew confirms her willingness to care and dare I say it, love, those who hold ANY place in her life. Her attachment to her nephew was nothing compared to her attachment to her parrot, Loulou. This attachment sprouted from Loulou’s little getaway when she ran to all of the gardens in Pont-l’Évêque to find him and he magically appeared on her shoulder when she stopped looking. From then on “they held conversations” and he “used to climb up her fingers, peck at her lips, and hang on to her shawl”. Long story short, when he died she put him through taxidermy. These examples show just how relationships are significant to Félicité and how her heart simply loves placeholders in her life obnoxiously.


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