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 birds...no one issues from their habitations until the bidding of the church-going bell"(158). This shows that religion is above all, the most important aspect of the character’s lives. The reason why the reader can relate to this novel and its characters is because of religion. Even though that religion today isn’t as strict as it used to be in the 17th century, it is still the same principals that the reader can relate to.
In Stephen Jay Gould’s collection of essays, The Dinosaur in the Haystack, Gould uses biblical references to make a connection between religion and science. Through out the history of the world, there has been an everlasting conflict of religion verses science. Although the book is based on scientific evidence he still gives the reader the religious insight to give all sides of his scientific theories. If science and religion agree, it even strengthens his argument more. Even though Gould is trying to...