The Black Spider Essay

821 words - 4 pages

Jeremias Gotthelf ‘s novella, “The Black Spider” is a highly ideological story of an evil poisonous black spider that wreaks havoc and death upon the villagers. It begins with a picturesque framework of a christening party on a farm, during which a guest notices and inquires about an incongruous black post on a newly built house. The grandfather then tells a story about a tyrannical knight by the name of Hans von Stoffeln who imposed impossible burdens upon the villagers and of the devil that appears as a huntsman to be their savior. One villager, Christine, agrees to the devils proposal, thinking she can outwit him. However, her betrayal unleashes an uncontainable and perpetual evil upon ...view middle of the document...

Christine’s husband was the most brutally killed of all the townspeople because he failed in his responsibility to put her in her place and prevent her from making such mistakes. The black spider took many victims and spared only those who were humble and kept God in their hearts and home.
The people’s faith in God as well as the ritual of baptism holds another sort of order to their lives. As the grandfather is telling the story he does not fear the plank on the wall at the end of the table for he says, “only if ever evil thoughts happened to rise within me which could give the devil a hold...but so long as we here outside do not forget God, it has to go on waiting within” (Gotthelf). As long as one is humble and always remembers God then they will have no fear and everything will stay in order.
It is not until Christine mingles with the devil and betrays God that everything starts falling apart. The devils price, an unbaptized child does not seem like too high a price however, in their community an unbaptized child was absolutely unheard of. In the catholic religion, babies are believed to be born in sin. This ritualistic tradition declares...

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