A Simple Heart

Félicité’s nephew, the son of Felicite’s sister Nastasie. When Virginie Aubain dies, Félicité develops a close relationship with her nephew. He brings her gifts from his travels, and she provides him with food and money to take home to his family. Félicité is greatly distressed when Victor announces that he has taken a job for two years at sea, and she runs ten miles to see him off only to miss his ship as it pulls away from the harbor. After failing to hear from her nephew for many months, Félicité learns that he has died (she later learns that he passed away due to poor medical treatment after he contracted yellow fever). Though she loses many loved ones throughout the story, Victor’s death is one of the most painful events of Félicité’s life.

Victor Leroux Quotes in A Simple Heart

The A Simple Heart quotes below are all either spoken by Victor Leroux or refer to Victor Leroux. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Faith and Virtue  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of A Simple Heart published in 2005.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Félicité became very attached to them. She bought them a blanket, some shirts and a cooking stove. They were obviously out to take advantage of her. Madame Aubain was annoyed that Félicité was not more firm with them. She also took objection to the familiar way in which the nephew spoke to Paul.”

Page Number: 14
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Chapter 3 Quotes

His parents always told him to make sure he brought something back with him, a bag of sugar, a piece of soap, a little brandy or even money. He brought with him any of his clothes that needed mending and Félicité always did the work willingly, glad of any opportunity of encouraging him to visit her again.

Page Number: 17-18
Explanation and Analysis:
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Although Félicité had been fed such rough treatment since she was a child, she felt very offended by Madame Aubain. But she soon got over it. After all, it was to be expected that Madame should get upset about her own daughter. For Félicité, the two children were of equal importance; they were bound together by her love for them and it seemed right that they should share the same fate.

Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
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Much later, she came to learn the circumstances of Victor’ s death from the captain of his ship. He had caught yellow fever and had been bled too much in the hospital. Four separate doctors had given him the same treatment and he had died immediately. The chief doctor’s comment was, ‘Good, that’s one more to add to the list!’

Related Characters: Félicité Barette, Victor Leroux
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 4 Quotes

As she came to the top of the hill at Ecquemauville, she saw the lights of Honfleur twinkling in the night like clusters of stars and, beyond them, the sea, stretching dimly into the distance. She was suddenly overcome with a fit of giddiness and her wretched childhood, the disappointment of her first love affair, the departure of her nephew and the death of Virginie all came flooding back to her like the waves of an incoming tide, welling up inside her and taking her breath away.

Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
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Victor Leroux Character Timeline in A Simple Heart

The timeline below shows where the character Victor Leroux appears in A Simple Heart. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Classism and Class Disparity Theme Icon
...school, Félicité begins feeling lonely, and receives permission from Madame Aubain to invite her nephew Victor Leroux to regularly visit her.0100 (full context)
Faith and Virtue  Theme Icon
Classism and Class Disparity Theme Icon
Cruelty vs Compassion  Theme Icon
Félicité develops a close relationship with Victor as a result of his visits. He brings her gifts from his travels at sea... (full context)
Faith and Virtue  Theme Icon
Love, Loss, and Death Theme Icon
In the middle of the summer, Victor signs up for a two-year job at sea. Hoping to say goodbye to him as... (full context)
Classism and Class Disparity Theme Icon
Cruelty vs Compassion  Theme Icon
Félicité worries constantly about Victor, imagining all the tragedies that might befall him. Meanwhile, the nuns at the convent report... (full context)
Classism and Class Disparity Theme Icon
Love, Loss, and Death Theme Icon
A letter arrives at the Aubain household to inform Félicité that her nephew Victor has died. Madame Aubain suggests that Félicité go and visit her sister, but Félicité refuses,... (full context)
Faith and Virtue  Theme Icon
Love, Loss, and Death Theme Icon
...“resolving that it would never be separated from her.” At Virginie’s funeral, Félicité imagines that Victor is being buried alongside Virginie, particularly because she was never able to properly bury him.... (full context)
Classism and Class Disparity Theme Icon
...part because it comes from America, and the idea of America always reminds her of Victor. (full context)