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Sentimental Education

Sentimental Education


by Gustave Flaubert

Sentimental Education Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Would Frederick really be happy with Madame Arnoux, or does he want her because he can't have her?
  2. What's the relationship between the revolutionary historical and political setting and Frederick's personal life?
  3. Why does Frederick pursue so many women when he seems to love only Madame Arnoux?
  4. What is Frederick's attitude toward the revolution?
  5. Why do you think Deslauriers betrays Frederick so many times?
  6. Do these characters have any morals? What do they seem to value most?
  7. What is the general attitude toward death in Sentimental Education?
  8. What are the various class levels and differences in the novel? For example, how are Madame Arnoux, Madame Dambreuse, and Rosanette socially distinct?
  9. Ah, Paris; the city of love. How does the city play an important role as the setting of the novel?
  10. Is Frederick, in fact, "sentimental," or is Flaubert being ironic? What would be the opposite of sentimental in this novel?
  11. Who do you think is the novel's most radical character? Why?

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