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Word Count: 803
Hope Leslie a novel written by Catherine Maria Sedgwick in the 1800s is a tale for our time As I was drawn into this tale I was struck by the very current views that are expressed by its various characters Even though it was written in the 1800s and set in the 1600s Sedgwick reveals that mankinds nature continues to be unchanged To quote Solomon whos divinely inspired writings are dated to 1000 BCE All this I saw keeping my mind on all the work that was done under the sun a time when man had control of man to his own harm Eccl 89 Byington Or as one scholarly work more accurately renders that passage during the time that man has dominated man to his injury NWT The introduction to Hope Leslie does much to enlighten the reader as to elements of social structure and then current views that dictated a course of action to the characters of this novel It also serves to create a platform for understanding Sedgwicks treatment of these characters x-xxxvii For instance the tactics of Sir William to establish an attachment for his daughter This suitor would have to be a proper one one that would yield to his own views Sir William in a correspondence to his brother strongly urges take good heed that the boy be taught unquestioning and unqualified loyalty to his sovereign-the Alpha and Omega of political duty 7 The confused and potent mix of politics and religion seems as deadly then as now On the one hand Sir William desires that all youths have the golden rule of political religion inscribed on their hearts yet in the next breath suggests that the liberty-loving Greeks and Romans are destroying the moral bent of these same youths Even going so far as attributing the desire to stray from the common and accepted views of his day as feminine He states Liberty what is it Daughter
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