The Importance Of Faith In Matthew Lewis's The Monk

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When people announce they are entering a monastery or convent, they are often met with reactions of awe and admiration. Although this decision entails long arduous devotion, it is assumed that this man or woman has made a sound decision. Many are under the impression that a life lived to solely serve God will ultimately bring out the best version of oneself. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Although it is difficult to admit there occasionally is a better alternative than wholly serving God, some personalities are better fitted for other avenues of life. In fact, it can be detrimental to be a part of this lifestyle if one’s personality is so poorly suited for it. The rigid discipline of holy orders can impede natural growth,…show more content…
In Matthew Lewis’ The Monk, a novel where a nun ends up pregnant, a friar rapes a child, and a sister escapes to engage in sexual escapades, it is illustrated that some people are better off out of the monastic life than…show more content…
Similar to Ambrosio who does not possess the characteristics of an effective abbot, Agnes does not have the traits to be a devoted nun. A nun who truly serves the Lord chooses that path out of genuine interest. It is clear from Agnes’ disinterest that her passion meanders outside of the convent. It is learned that since infancy Agnes has been expected to take the habit. Her aunt claims, “Donna Inesilla vowed, that if she [Agnes] recovered from her malady, the child then living in her bosom, if a girl, should be dedicated to St. Clare (134).” Agnes’ journey to the convent is carved from a multitude of poor intentions. First, all through her life it is ingrained in her mind that because of the curing of her physical ailment, it is necessary she join the convent. Similar to Ambrosio’s experience, a life predestined for the monastery is not guaranteed to be a successful one. The convent represents an awaiting payment and a consolation prize. Later, when the abbot discovers Agnes’ secret she admits, “I believed him [Raymond] forever lost to me, and threw myself into a convent from motives of despair” 70. The convent should be entered a first choice, not a backup plan. Agnes chooses the convent to run from her true desires— her love, Raymond. Agnes says, “Long before I took the veil, Raymond was the master of my heart: he inspired me with the purest, the most irreproachable passion” 70. Agnes’

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