Sentimental Education | Study Guide

Gustave Flaubert

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Sentimental Education | Characters

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Character Description
Frédéric Moreau Frédéric Moreau is a young man from the French village of Nogent. The book follows his move to Paris at 18 years old, his lasting love for Madame Arnoux, and his experience in France's 1848 revolution. Frédéric is in his late teens and early 20s when most of the book's action takes place. He's part of the generation that came of age during France's tumultuous 19th-century revolution. Read More
Madame Arnoux Madame Arnoux is a married housewife with two children, and Frédéric's love interest throughout the book. Though her exact age is not given, she is several years older than Frédéric, possibly in her early 30s or older in 1840, when the book begins. The two share emotional intimacy, but never have a physical affair. Read More
Jacques Arnoux Jacques Arnoux is a charming businessman with a reputation for dishonesty. He is around 40 years old in 1840, when the book begins. Although he's married to Madame Arnoux, he has affairs with other women, most notably Rosanette. Read More
Charles Deslauriers Charles Deslauriers is a lawyer who dreams of political power. He and Frédéric have been best friends since childhood. He is three years older than Frédéric, and 21 years old when the book begins in 1840. Read More
The Baron The Baron de Comaing is an acquaintance of Cisy's. He supports Cisy in a duel with Frédéric.
Uncle Barthélemy Uncle Barthélemy is Frédéric's uncle. During his life he refuses to give his nephew money. After his death, however, he leaves Frédéric a large sum.
Cécile Cécile is Monsieur Dambreuse's illegitimate daughter and Madame Dambreuse's niece. She becomes Monsieur Dambreuse's heir after he dies, and marries Martinon. She's young (perhaps in her late teens) when most of the book takes place.
Cisy Known as "the viscount," Monsieur de Cisy is a nobleman concerned with fashion, style, and appearance. He eventually marries and has a family. He's around Frédéric's age—early 20s—when the novel begins.
Clémence Clémence is Deslauriers's mistress. He treats her poorly because of her naïveté and lower social class.
Compain Compain is a friend of Regimbart's.
Monsieur Dambreuse Monsieur Dambreuse is a wealthy elderly banker and industrialist, loyal to the monarchy. Young men consider him a valuable business connection.
Madame Dambreuse Madame Dambreuse is Monsieur Dambreuse's wife. She's about 20 years younger than her husband and several years older than Frédéric. She is elegant and superficial, enjoying her high social status.
Delmar Delmar is a Parisian actor known for playing the role of a revolutionary peasant. He has a high opinion of himself and has affairs with both Rosanette and Mademoiselle Vatnaz.
Delphine Delphine is Rosanette's maid.
Dussardier Dussardier is a kindhearted shop assistant who meets Frédéric after being arrested at a protest. He's a passionate activist who fights for France's liberation from the monarchy. He's around Frédéric's age—early 20s—when the novel begins.
Eugène Eugène is the Arnouxs' young son.
Fumichon Fumichon is an elderly industrialist who attends the Dambreuses' parties.
Hussonnet Hussonnet, also known as "the Bohemian," is a journalist who meets Frédéric at a student protest. He is around Frédéric's age—early 20s—in the early 1840s. He is sarcastic and frivolous, using his newspaper to mock Parisian celebrities.
Joseph Joseph Vezou is a relative of Cisy's. He supports Cisy in a duel with Frédéric.
Louise Louise Roque lives next door to the Moreau family in Nogent. She's 12 years old in 1843—the end of Part 1 of the novel—and about nine years younger than Frédéric. She's a naïve country girl who falls in love with Frédéric at a young age but eventually marries Deslauriers.
Madame Moreau Madame Moreau is Frédéric's mother. She's a shrewd, respected woman living in the town of Nogent, who has high hopes her son will have a lucrative business career and marry well.
Madame Regimbart Madame Regimbart is Regimbart's wife and a well-known seamstress.
Marthe Marthe is the Arnouxs' daughter. She is about eight years old when the book begins in 1840.
Martinon Martinon is a law student and acquaintance of Frédéric's. He is around Frédéric's age—late teens or early 20s—when the book begins in the 1840s. He does well in law school and has a successful career, eventually becoming a senator, but many of Frédéric's friends consider him simpleminded.
Monsieur Oudry Monsieur Oudry is a rich, elderly Parisian who has an affair with Rosanette and later marries her.
Pellerin Pellerin is a painter Frédéric meets at Arnoux's art shop. He is constantly in search of true beauty and advocates for the interests of artists. He is around 50 years old when the book begins in the 1840s.
Monsieur Prouharam Monsieur Prouharam is a solicitor in Nogent.
Prince Tzernoukoff Prince Tzernoukoff is a Russian nobleman who has an affair with Rosanette.
Regimbart Regimbart, also called "the Citizen," is an elderly man who frequents Arnoux's art shop. He's cantankerous and often complains about current events.
Roque Monsieur Roque is a businessman living in the town of Nogent. He is Louise Roque's father and is connected to wealthy Parisian Monsieur Dambreuse. He's an elderly man often referred to as "old Roque."
Rosanette Rosanette, known as "the Marshal" because of a memorable party costume she wears, is a flirtatious courtesan who has an affair with Frédéric. She and Frédéric have a child who dies in infancy. She is in her late 20s during Parts 2 and 3 of the novel when she appears.
Sénécal Sénécal, known as "the Socialist," is a teacher and extreme left-wing radical who befriends Deslauriers. His dogmatic beliefs disturb many of his contemporaries, and he is willing to defend his beliefs with violence. He is around Frédéric's age—late teens or early 20s—when the book begins.
The Sphinx The Sphinx is a woman dressed as a Sphinx who attends Rosanette's party.
Mademoiselle Vatnaz Mademoiselle Vatnaz is an intelligent, crafty woman who works several jobs in Paris. She has an affair with Arnoux and a rivalry with Rosanette. She's around 30 years old when the book begins.
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