It seems like everyone in Flaubert's "A Simple Heart" used to be wealthy. They're all looking back at the gravy days, when life was good, and are resoundingly dissatisfied with their current situations. In this story, money and riches can't be taken for granted. You could get into debt, your husband or parents could die, or you could be conned by a swindler. What really counts is the class you were born into. Even if you're broke, you can still put on airs with your bridge partners if you're bourgeois.
Questions About Wealth
Why are all the men in "A Simple Heart" secretly in debt?
Where does Madame Aubain get her money?
Why does Félicité's boyfriend leave her?
Chew on This
Wealth is an illusion in "A Simple Heart."
In "A Simple Heart," wealth determines what kind of life each character has.