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A simple Heart (gustave flaubert)

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In approximately 1200-1500 words, write a commentary on the following extract from Flaubert’s Un cœur simple, paying particular attention to the following:

• Félicité’s social environment and the way this is described in the passage
• the treatment of Félicité’s experiences and feelings
• the way in which the communication between the characters is rendered.

FR1112 The Individual and French Society: key works
Coursework Essay (30%)

Commentary for CLC students ONLY

Deadline: 4.00 pm on Monday 12 January 2015

In approximately 1200-1500 words, write a commentary on the following extract from Flaubert’s Un cœur simple, paying particular attention to the following:

•    Félicité’s social environment and the way this is described in the passage
•    the treatment of Félicité’s experiences and feelings
•    the way in which the communication between the characters is rendered.

She had had, like anyone else, her love story.
Her father, a mason, had been killed falling off scaffolding. Then her mother died, her sisters scattered, a farmer took her in and while she was still a child

employed her as cowherd in the open fields. She shivered with cold in her rags, lay flat to drink water out of the ponds, was beaten for no reason at all, and was

finally thrown out for the theft of thirty sous,* which she had never stolen. She went to another farm, was put in charge of the poultry, and as the owners liked her

the other farmhands were jealous.
One evening in August (she was then eighteen) they took her with them to the village fair at Colleville. Straight away she was dazed, deafened by the noise of the

fiddles, the lights in the trees, the medley of brightly coloured costumes, lace, gold crosses, this mass of people all hoping about in time. She was standing shyly to

one side when a prosperous-looking young man, who had been smoking a pipe as he leaned with both arms on a cart-shaft, came up and invited her to dance. He bought her

cider, coffee, cake, a silk scarf, and imagining that she had guessed his intentions, offered to see her home. On the edge of a field of oats he brutally tumbled her

over. She was frightened and began to scream. He made off.
Another evening, on the Beaumont road, she tried to get past a large haywain which was travelling slowly in front of her, and, brushing by close to the wheels, she

recognized Théodore.
He greeted her quite calmly, saying that she must forgive his behaviour, since it was all “the fault of the drink”.
She did not know how to reply, and wanted to run away.

Flaubert, A Simple Heart

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