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