The aspect of Christianity is often a theme that is woven into literature. Lessons about the power of God and the miracles of Jesus Christ provide evidence for readers of the importance of God in a person's life. One specific author, Gustave Flaubert, wrote three short stories, A Simple Heart, St. Julian the Hospitator, and Herodias. All together, he titled them, Three Tales. Each of these stories is written in a different and unique way, but all portray a message about the reward that the Holy Spirit provides good people at the end of their lives. During the time Flaubert was creating these tales, he seemed to be experiencing a tough time,' and he himself may have needed to look to God in order to provide him with resolve for his problems. As a result, these tales relate to Flaubert's life and hold a special meaning for him, as did many of his writings.
[...] As a young woman, Felicite was proposed to by a man, who disappeared from her suddenly and was found to have married an old woman; aiding him in not being drafted into the military. Felicite was devastated, the reader is told, although Felicite herself never acknowledges her feelings. Flaubert writes, her distress was unbounded” (Flaubert, 6). She then began the rest of her life, working as a maid and cook for Madame Aubain and her two young children. Because Felicite did not have any family of her own, she loved and served this family as if they were her relatives. [...]
[...] The leper turned out to be Jesus himself and subsequently he ascended with Julian, the saint, to heaven. Julian's virtues of diligence in the face of the mortal storm, patience with the leper's request, and kindness in helping a leper with no money to offer were finally able to outweigh his sins. The prophesies had come full circle and Flaubert's new definition of “greatness” was realized with Julian the sinner and saint. Flaubert created this story much differently than the first. [...]
[...] Your son is born to be a saint” (43). It is of no small significance that the nurturing mother, much like Mary mother of Jesus, is told of the spiritual greatness that her son is to achieve. The second prophesy is told to Julian's father by gypsy beggar who says, Ah! Your son! . Much bloodshed! . Much glory! . Always blessed by fortune! The family of an emperor” (43). The reader is left somewhat perplexed after viewing these two seemingly diametric prophesies: How can Julian be both a Saint and a person linked to “bloodshed” and “emperors”? [...]
[...] The fact that a person has only a stuffed parrot to love her is once again, extremely sad. In reality, Felicite truly has the Holy Spirit has a companion, but she witnesses him through the parrot because it is a simple animal that a ‘simple heart' like hers can relate to. Flaubert describes a mystical death for this bland woman nevertheless. As a procession of the Church passes by her homemade altar, Felicite smells a blue haze of incense from her dying bed. [...]
[...] After breaking his personal vow to abstain from hunting, he indulges in the sin of gluttony by attempting to over-indulge in the murder of every animal in the forest. After returning from a complete failure of killing animals he returns with rage and lust, for “since he could not kill animals he would gladly kill (61). During his hunt, his estranged parents had arrived at his castle and were put to slumber by Julian's wife in his bed. Upon seeing a man in his bed with who he perceived to be his wife, Julian resorts to the ultimate act of wrath and passion by murdering his parents, thereby fulfilling the third prophesy (62). [...]
using our reader.