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A Simple Soul

A Simple Soul by Gustave Flaubert
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The protagonist in Gustave Flaubert’s A Simple Soul is a housemaid named Félicité who devotes her entire existence to serving her mistress, Madame Aubain. Félicité is depicted as a simple, hardworking woman of great character and endless loving power. Despite her very miserable youth, being harshly treated by former masters and disappointed in love at a very early age, Félicité never leaves Madame Aubain during the most difficult moments of her life. The latter first loses her young husband who leaves two children and a number of unpaid debts. She eventually leaves her luxurious house to move to a more modest one belonging to her family. Throughout Madame Aubain’s ordeal, Félicité lives a life of duty, complete devotion and love. She loves the two children, cares for them and even protects them from dangers. Later in the story, the departure of the children and then their sudden death grieve Félicité greatly. She resorts to a life of seclusion, collecting relics and developing a special relationship with the parrot, Loulou. At the very moment of her death, she sees in Loulou an incarnation of the Holy Ghost. The final smile on her lips brings to the reader’s mind the happiness and satisfaction evoked by her name.

Copyright Group; August 2013
23 pages; ISBN 9781780007168
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Title: A Simple Soul
Author: Gustave Flaubert