Calvinism: A Look Into Domestic Life in Catherine Sedgwick's Novel, A New England Tale

1176 WordsJul 12, 20185 Pages
Catharine Sedgwick’s novel, A New-England Tale, tells the story of an orphan, Jane Elton, who “fights to preserve her honesty and her dignity in a household where religion is much talked about but little practiced” (Back Cover). The story take place in the 1820s, a time when many children were suffering in silence due to the fact that there was really no way to get people to understand exactly how bad things were for them. The only way anyone could ever really get a true understanding of the lives of the children in these households would be by knowing what took place in their homes. Outside of the home these women seemed perfectly normal and there was not reason to suspect any crookedness. The author herself was raised by a woman of…show more content…
Upon arrival to her aunts she is quickly confronted about the items and her aunt is dissatisfied with her disobedience. “I did not understand your note, Ma’am, to contain positive order; and Mary and I did not think it was quite right to take the things. Right! pretty judges of right to be sure. She a hired girl, and a Methodist into the bargain” (37). Jane makes the claim that she and Mary did not “think” it was right and purposefully leaves out the face that they had a brief discussion about what she should do before she made her decision. She also emphasizes that she failed to “contain positive order” thus hinting to her aunt that she understood what she asked of her but knew it was wrong and thus, she did not carry out her wishes. Here Mrs. Wilson decides to mock Mary Hull’s occupation, as well as religion, in an effort to show her inferiority. She makes it know that Mary Hull is a Methodist woman and basically shows no respect towards her or her religion of choice. Earlier in the text she speaks about how she believes that Mary’s religion had conveyed a reproach to take of her own and for this reason she was not very fond of her. The rules that Mrs. Wilson conveys to Jane in the earlier days of her stay are very repressive and extreme. She states “Now as to what I expect from you:- in the first place, my word must be your law; you must not hesitate to do any

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