The Quest of the Holy Grail is an exciting tale that follows the adventures of King Arthur’s knights as they scour the countryside for the legendary Holy Grail. Throughout their journeys, the knights engage in many exciting jousts and sword fights with a variety of enemies. The author of The Quest of the Holy Grail intends for the story to be more than just entertainment: the knights’ search for the Holy Grail is analogous to the pursuit of morality and spiritual chivalry, showing success through asceticism, confession, chastity, and faith.
Lancelot, Bors, and Perceval all strive to become more like Galahad, and the author effectively uses these characters to teach his readers lessons about spiritual chivalry and personal salvation. The author provides each of these knights with a series of monks and hermits who counsel and guide him in the ways of spiritual chivalry, for only the most pure Christian knights have any hope of finding the Grail. The adventures of Perceval are very straightforward and easy to interpret, so he provides readers with a suitable introduction to spiritual chivalry and the importance of virginity, asceticism, and complete faith in God. The author faces Bors with more complicated challenges and visions than anything Perceval must handle; since the author tells Bors’ adventures after Perceval’s, readers should be more prepared to interpret their meaning and significance with regard to spiritual chivalry and personal salvation. The advice Lancelot receives from his series of monks and hermits shows readers the importance of confession and penance, but the author makes it clear that readers should not emulate Lancelot’s life of sin …
… middle of paper …
…y responsible for our own salvation and “neither shall the son have any part in his father’s guilt, nor the father answer for the son’s transgressions” (154).
The author of The Quest of the Holy Grail addresses a significant number of spiritual and moral issues throughout his engaging story. His goal is to provide a guide to proper living in the eyes of God, and he successfully achieves this goal through the adventures of several very diverse knights of the Round Table who, through their victories and follies, show us the value of spiritual chivalry; furthermore, if we have any additional questions concerning spirituality that are not addressed in The Quest of the Holy Grail, the author suggests that we may always seek out the guidance of our wise local hermits.
The Quest of the Holy Grail. Trans. P. M. Matarasso. London: Penguin Books, 1969.
Shades of Madness and Insanity in Yellow Wallpaper, A Worn Path, and Mulatto
Varying Shades of Insanity in Yellow Wallpaper, A Worn Path, and Mulatto
The human psyche is a very complex, intricate thing. Why does one person act one way, while another acts completely differently? I have read three stories that have given me insight on this subject. They are “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, and Mulatto by Langston Hughes. In each of these stories, the main character exhibits a peculiar personality trait, but each stems from a different experience.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a story of a married woman, Jane, who suffers from a debilitating nervous condition. This story is based on a cure for the disease, called the “rest cure.” Dr. S. Weir Mitchell developed this treatment which required confining the patient to a hotel, hospital, or a residence that was isolated from much human contact, such as the one described in the story. The patient was to have complete bed rest, a drastic change in diet, and sometimes even electric shock therapy. Charlotte Perkins Gilman had experienced this treatment in her own life, so she had first-hand knowledge of what she was writing about in this story (Gilman 491).
The setting of this story is a room in a house in which Jane lives for a summer with her husband John, who is a physician. The room is large, almost the size of the entire floor. She is on medication, “phosphates or phosphites– whichever it is,” for her condition, and she has been forbidden to work (Gilman 491). Unfortunately, she was also not allowed to write, which was a deprivation of the only outlet she had. Therefore, on most days, she spent her time in that room with nothing to do except look at the four walls. In the beginning of the story we can sense that maybe she is a little crazy. She describes the house as if it is a castle. Then she says that “there is something strange about the house– I can feel it” (Gilman 492). Next, we learn of the intriguing yellow wallpaper.
The wallpaper, at first, is her nemesis. She begs John to repaper the room; it scares her. “The paper looks to her as if it knew what a vicious influence it had” (Gilman 494). In her perception, the paper has eyes and exerts some sort of power over her.