A Simple Heart


Gustave Flaubert

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Though the term “catechism” can refer to any religious teachings often presented in a question/answer format, it often refers to the summary of Catholic doctrine taught to those seeking to be confirmed as full members of the Catholic church. In “A Simple Heart,” Virginie Aubain receives a traditional Catholic catechism, and because Félicité is charged with accompanying her to her lessons, Félicité receives the same lessons (albeit in an indirect manner). When Virginie completes her catechism and receives her First Communion, Félicité experiences a moment of spiritual rapture, and even imagines that she herself is Virginie receiving communion. This moment is particularly important because it indicates that despite the way in which members of the upper-middle class look down upon Félicité’s lack of education, she is still able to access a profound connection with the Catholic faith through her connection with Virginie Aubain.

Catechism Quotes in A Simple Heart

The A Simple Heart quotes below are all either spoken by Catechism or refer to Catechism. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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 3 Quotes

She wept at the story of Christ’s Passion. Why had they crucified a man who was so kind to children, fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind, and who had chosen, out of his own gentle nature, to be born amongst the poor on the rough straw of a stable? Seed-time and harvest, the fruits of the vine, all those familiar things mentioned in the gospels had their place in her life too. They now seemed sanctified by contact with God.

Related Characters: Félicité Barette
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
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