The Grand Inquisitor Analysis

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Mary E. Wilkins Freeman was from Randolph, Massachusetts, born on October 31, 1852. As an American writer, she was best known for her stories and writings depicting characters who endured frustrated lives in New England. In 1867, Mary Wilkins relocated with her family to Brattleboro,Vermont. After studying for a year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which now is Mount Holyoke College, Freeman lived at home where she spent most of her time reading, and writing stories for children. In 1883, soon after the death of her parents, she decided to live with friends, returning back to her hometown of Randolph, Massachusetts. Also, during that same year, she published her first adult story in a Boston newspaper. The best of her work was done while…show more content…
For example, both Louisa and the Inquisitor both felt “chained” to something. Louisa felt chained to her engagement in a similar the way the Inquisitor felt chained to the rules and regulations of the church. Also, the Inquisitor is suddenly disturbed by the presence of Christ just as Louisa is disturbed by the presence of her fiance, Joe Dagget. Both characters are happily living their lives when they are abruptly interrupted. Furthermore, in the story, The Grand Inquisitor, the church was viewed as the enemy of freedom and free will just as Louisa saw Joe and her engagement as the enemy to her freedom and free will. Likewise, perhaps the most pivotal similarity, was the offering of forgiveness by a kiss. Although Louisa never admits her knowledge of Joe’s affair with Lily, symbolically she forgives him “That night she and Joe parted more tenderly than they had done for a long time.” “Then he kissed her, and went down the path.” (476) In the same way Christ shows forgiveness to the Inquisitor, he kisses him as a way to say I forgive you. At the same time, both stories, A New England Nun and The Grand Inquisitor, have religious elements. Consequently, the story is titled “A New England Nun” because of the way Louisa lives her daily life, very routine and with concentration, with no time for socializing, she is living her life just as a nun would. Lastly, as we discussed in class the meaning behind last line of this story “Louisa sat, prayerfully numbering her days, like an uncloistered nun.” (477) I believe it is a representation of Louisa praying the rosary and her devotion to her life. The statement of “numbering her days” is like a rosary, which are like “numbered
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