Study Guide

A Simple Heart What's Up With the Ending?

By Gustave Flaubert

What's Up With the Ending?

The story ends with Félicité dying, and the last thing she sees as she breathes her last breath is "a giant parrot." What the heck? Is this a joke? Well, kind of. It's a reference to Loulou, her parrot, whom she notices looks a lot like the dove depicted in religious art, which is supposed to represent the holy spirit.

Félicité is so simple that she doesn't really get abstract things like maps or metaphors. So when she meets Loulou and takes him under her wing (figuratively, of course) he becomes the Holy Spirit for her. And when she dies, she sees him as her own personal Jesus.

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