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Religion in Chatharine Sedwick's Hope Leslie, Stephen Jay Gould's Dinosaur in a Haystack and Norman Mclean's A River Runs Through It

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Religion in Chatharine Sedwick's Hope Leslie, Stephen Jay Gould's Dinosaur in a Haystack and Norman Mclean's A River Runs Through It


In Hope Leslie, by Catharine Sedwick; Dinosaur in a Haystack, by Stephen Jay Gould, and A River Runs Through it, by Norman Maclean; the authors use religion in order to give the reader an insight on the stories and ideas they present, as well as gaining respect in the reader’s minds. All people can relate to religion, in one way or the other. Therefore, people have a sense of what the author is trying to express as well as giving the author a universal sense of respect. Although these literary pieces are based on totally different settings, 17th century puritan lifestyle, scientific evolution, and rural Presbyterian family life, religion is the common theme that relates these works.

In Hope Leslie, Sedwick’s 17th century puritan characters are so well presented you overwhelmingly have a sense of respect for not only the characters, but also to Sedwick. Even the character’s names, like Hope and Faith makes the reader think of them as good puritan people. Sedwick describes in great detail the nature of the puritan lifestyle to give you the perception of the strict, yet honorable puritan life. Sedwick clearly writes her novel so even if you have no background on puritan religion, you feel a sense of what is was like. Religion was the key element in this novel. It showed basis for most of the actions the characters. In 17th century puritan communities, religion is the law of the town. For example, when Sedwick is talking about the Sabbath day she states, "Not a human sound is heard without the dwellings, and but for the lowing of the herds, the crowing of the cocks, and the gossiping of the bi...


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...onal beliefs of these religions are. For example, he shows Pauls rebelliousness very early in the novel when he doesn’t eat his oats like the traditional Presbyterian would. It shows that even though Paul respects religion, he doesn’t let it make decisions for himself. After reading this novel, I had an overwhelmingly large respect for Maclean. His religious viewpoints were expressed clearly and without any discrepancies and his morals are regarded as almost untouchable.

In conclusion, religion is a belief that everyone can relate to and have a sense of respect for. In these three extremely different literary works, all is tied to religion in some way. Even if you are not a religious person, you still have respect for the religion. These authors have totally different religious backgrounds, but as the reader, you have an equal amount of respect for each of them.


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