- Author: Gustave Flaubert
- Copyright: Public domain
- Published in: 1877
- Word count: 12,081 words (≈ about 1 hour)
A Simple Heart, also called Un cœur simple or Le perroquet in French, is a story about a servant girl named Felicite. After her one and only love Theodore purportedly marries a well-to-do woman to avoid conscription, Felicite quits the farm she works on and heads for Pont-l'evèque where she immediately picks up work in a widow's house as a servant. She is very loyal, and easily lends her affections to the two children of her mistress, Mme Aubain. She gives entirely to others, and although many take advantage of her she is unaffected. She is the epitome of a selfless character, and Flaubert shows how true altruism – the reality of being truly selfless – is the reward in itself. Whatever comes her way she is able to deal with it.