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Appearance vs. Reality in Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie

Appearance vs. Reality in Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie

In her novel, Hope Leslie, Catharine Maria Sedgwick supplants the importance of strict adherence to religious tenets with the significance the human conscience and following one’s own heart. This central theme of the novel is intimated to the reader in the scene where Sir Philip Gardiner, a character that completely defies this ideal, is described. Although he “had a certain erect and gallant bearing that marks a man of the world . . . his dress was strictly puritanical” (124). In other words, even though his demeanor is completely unlike that of a puritan, he adheres to the outward seeming of one. The scene describes in detail these markings and intimations of his person that would indicate an attitude not befitting a puritan. His face suggested the “ravages of the passions” while his constantly roving eyes indicated a “restless mind” (124). The only signs of Sir Philip’s “puritanism” are his pretenses and his clothing, and these are enough to convince society he is a religious man, quite a “dandy quaker” (125).

Sir Philip is hailed as “a godly and approved member of the congregation” (152). He is considered such an exemplar of the puritanical faith that he is deemed a more appropriate match for Hope than Everell. While Sir Philip maintains the outward appearances of a puritan, Everell, while his “puritan principles [remain] uncorrupted . . . has little of the outward man of a ‘pilgrim indeed'” (150). When Mr. Fletcher asks Winthrop about the validity of Sir Philip’s supposed credentials, Winthrop replies “that he thought the gentleman scarcely needed other than he carried in his language and deportment” (155). While Sir Philip’s principles are untested and Evere…

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…ke the other Puritans, Hope is able to follow her conscience and trust in her heart. When Nelema is imprisoned for her unorthodox method of healing of Cradock on Hope’s behalf, Hope extricates Nelema from the authorities. After Magawisca is taken captive due to a promised rendezvous between Faith and Hope, Hope finds a way to rescue Magawisca from prison. Although Hope loves her sister and wishes to keep her home, she respects the sanctity of Faith’s Christian bond with Oneco, albeit Catholic, and is happy for Faith when Oneco rescues her. Hope transcends the Puritan religion and embraces a universal religion, respecting others’ differing relationships with God as holy. Hope, unlike her society, rejects strict adherence to religious tenets and follows her own heart.

Works Cited

Sedgwick, Catharine Maria. Hope Leslie. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers U P, 1995.

Essay on the Gay as a Literary Figure in The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Gay as a Literary Figure in The Picture of Dorian Gray

This paper shall explore the gay as a literary figure based on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The aim of the essay is threefold. Firstly, to show how the gay is related to two of the most potent archetypal images: those of Dionysos and Apollo. Secondly, to demonstrate that the Wildean gay is profoundly afraid of life, and that his interest in form and aesthetic proportion rests on a principle of “evasion.” Thirdly, to contend that the humor in this novel, and by extension also in Wilde’s plays, is a symptom of the author’s fascination with an archetypal “gay.”

The Picture of Dorian Gray revolves around Dorian’s dual nature. On the one hand, he is the young hero whose adventures the novel records; on the other, he is a painted image of “extraordinary personal beauty.” When Lord Henry tells him that his exceptional looks will not last, the young man prays that he be allowed to remain as he is in Basil’s portrait of him. Dorian wants to enjoy his youth for ever. His “mad wish” is a key to the archetypal factors which…

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… intoxication and Apollonian form; of Dionysian involvement and Apollonian unapproachability. He is able to enjoy the Dionysian pleasures to which he wants to abandon himself, but at an Apollonian distance. Works Cited

Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Ed. Isobel Murray. London: Oxford University Press, 1974.

Wilde, Oscar. The Letters of Oscar Wilde. Ed. R. Hart-Davis. London: Hart-Davis, 1962.

Jung, C.G. The Collected Works. Ed. Sir Herbert Read etc. London: Routledge

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