Study Guide

A Simple Heart Humility

By Gustave Flaubert

Humility

Félicité is the picture of humility in "A Simple Heart." Whereas many other characters are proud of their accomplishments, she's humble. To put it simply, Félicité is content with leftovers—this is her attitude toward life. Flaubert probably thinks this has to do with her social class. She's from the lower class and lives to serve the middle class.

In many ways Félicité's humility is related to her innocence. Her lack of knowledge and experience leads her to ask silly questions about geography, and to love with abandon. All of this is what gives her "a simple heart," as the title says.

Questions About Humility

  1. Why does Félicité take so much crap from Madame Aubain?
  2. If you were to cast an actress in a movie version of "A Simple Heart," which famous actress would capture her humility perfectly? Why?
  3. How does the title relate to humility?

Chew on This

"A Simple Heart" shows the close connection between humility and humiliation.

In "A Simple Heart," Félicité is rewarded in the end for her humility.

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