Flaubert's Relationship In A Simple Heart

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One of the most interesting (and probably the strangest) things that I found in Flaubert’s “A Simple Heart” was the relationship between Félicité and her parrot Loulou. From the very beginning, the relationship between the two proved extremely significant to Félicité as the bird brought a little bit of happiness into her miserable life that had been plagued with loss and death. The bird was such an important companion to her that after his death, she could hardly handle it and was completely distraught. In fact, “she cried so much her mistress said ‘All right, then—have him stuffed’” (page 281). Thus, she did just that and after waiting impatiently for six months, her stuffed friend arrived in the mail and from there, their relationship became even stranger. To me personally, it seems that Félicité’s mental state is…show more content…
On the surface, this seems to be a really absurd association, but it proves to be very important to Félicité as it is slowly revealed that she believes him to be the Holy Spirit. For instance, “Looking up in anguish, she prayed to the Holy Ghost. She had fallen into the idolatrous habit of saying her prayers while kneeling before the parrot” (page 283). As she is further isolated from others, the parrot has become as representation of God here on earth to her and she looks to him for comfort and refuge. I think her lack of education could also contribute to her veneration of the parrot, because without the ability to read, she relies on prayer and as she sees God in Loulou, it is easier for her feel like God is present in her life. With the ending, I thought the final few lines were extremely weird. As she died, “she believed she saw, in the opening heavens, an immense parrot, hovering over her head” (page 285). I’m not quite sure what these last few lines mean, but I can only infer this is another example of how she saw the parrot as God. As Loulou acted as God here on earth, it would seem only fitting for him to welcome her

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