Monday, March 25, 2019
Use of Biblical Imagery in CatherÃ¢â¬â¢s Sapphira and the Slave Girl :: Cather Sapphira Slave Girl Essays
Use of scriptural Imagery in Cathers Sapphira and the Slave GirlThroughout Sapphira and the Slave Girl, Cather uses Biblical imaging to depict critical events. Specifically, Nancys escape cock to freedom, and Marys overcoming a potentially fatal illness. Cather continually uses Biblical imagery when describing Nancys journey out of slavery and into freedom. For example, Mr. Colbert sees Nancy as breathing out up out of Egypt to a better put down, clearly connecting her with flight of Hebrew slaves out of Egypt in the Bible. Connecting Nancys escape to the Biblical pilgrimage of Moses to the promised land serves to reinforce the underlying righteousness of her actions-- as well as the intrinsic evil of slavery. In depicting her actual journey, the reader once once more encounters Biblical allusions. This occurs in Cathers description of the black preacher who will cheer Nancy on her way to Canada. Cather portrays this piece almost as a disciple, his comp int part cosmos descr ibed as solemn yet comforting sounding like the voice of prophecy (239). Ascribing such a sage-like persona to this man solidifies the righteousness of both Nancys, and Mrs. Blakes, efforts to defy slaverys bonds. Marys communion strikes me as another primal event whereby Cather uses Biblical imagery. In this particular incident-- which invariably saves Marys life-- she walking in her sleep drinks the bowl of broth intended for Mr. Fairhead (259). Cather depicts Mary as preternatual, being a white figure which drifted--rather than walked-- across the indoor duskiness of the live (259). Mary, seemingly in an altered state, in guided by what one can interpret as instinct, or divine forces, which lead her to the soup. kindred to the black preachers voice, Mr. Fairhead sees Marys actions as something solemn. . . like a communion service (259). From a Catholic perspective, the purpose of communion is receiving the body and blood of Christ, thereby receiving youthful life. One can see , in this fount, why Cather would deliberately key this scene in Biblical terms, because Mary-- wuote literally-- receives a new chance at life from the soup she drinks. Similar to Nancys flight from slavery, Marys drinking of the soup is an instance of an individual defying detrimental societal conventions. While taken as correct, the fix for Mary and Bettys illness is not only wrong, but fatal. Cather thereby uses Biblical imagery to reinforce the righteousness of Marys actions, even though they go against what society--specifically medicine-- sees as the correct course of treatment.