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Emma 1
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Emma 2
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 3
Role of religion in Tess of the d'Urbervilles ................................................................................... 3
Amos Barton ................................................................................................................................... 6
The Heart of Darkness .................................................................................................................... 8
Comparing the Three Books ........................................................................................................... 9
Conclusion .................................................................................................................................... 11
References ..................................................................................................................................... 12
Emma 3
A society is composed of four components which dictate the direction it takes; the
political structure is concerned with leadership and passing of various law and policies which
eventually have an impact on the society. The political leaders, as well as religious leaders, have
to exercise the doctrine of pragmatism for them to inspire the necessary changes in the society.
The economic pillar on the other hand dictates the form of income generating activities carried
out by the society. The social pillar majorly encompasses the values and moral that dictates what
is wrong and right in a social setup. Besides, the social pillar defining what is evil and right for
the society, norms and beliefs plays a huge role in the society (Laird, 1975). It ensures that
schism is avoided in society. In addition, it ensures that a particular level of profound peace and
tranquillity has been achieved. However, the most important aspect of the society is religion. It
plays an important role in dictating various aspect of the society such as marriage, baptism, the
concept of evil, norms, and the general welfare of the society.
Religion is influenced by doctrines and dogmas that follower’s adhere to. Majority of the
practices are guided by a series of doctrines coupled with the existence of supernatural beings.
Christianity, Muslim, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Paganism are some of the conventional
religions that difference societies’ practices all over the world. The essay provides insight into
the role of religion in the books of Amos Barton, Tess of the u'bervilles and the Heart of
darkness. The authors have taken a different view of religion. In addition, the essay will provide
insight on the differences played by religion in the three books
Role of religion in Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy wrote one of the most exciting books, which is based on the Victorian
period in England which witnessed immense success. The author uses several characters to
bring forth the role of religion and how it’s influenced various aspect of the society. At first, one
Emma 4
would conclude that the author abandons his religious beliefs but remained in church and
practiced the teaching and the principles of the church. The author characters have two
distinctive religions. Eventually, he presents a dichotomous aspect of religion, with Christianity
and Paganism defining the essential aspect of the society. Religion has taken centre stage in
some of the social ceremonies of the society. Religion entirely guides baptism and burial.
Christian baptized their children through cleansing which enables the kid to grow in an upright
manner. When the protagonist baptizes Sorrow, she discovered that the ceremony is not as the
same one practice in the church. She has guilt conscience which torments her for days (Hardy,
1998). The case is made worse by the fact she got a kid out of the wedlock which did not concur
with the doctrine of Christianity. Burial ceremonies were also conducted in a manner which was
defined by the Christian teaching. The burial was done during the day; in addition, the dead
person must have been a follower of principles of the church for him/her to be accorded decent
final respect (Hardy, 1998). In the story, Tess had a kid out of wedlock; the church takes a harsh
position regarding the issue. When Tess lost the kid, she was forced to bury the kid under the
cover of darkness to avoid the mocking from the churchgoers (Hardy, 1998).
Religion has also played a key role in creating a schism in the society. In the novel,
Christianity and Paganism are the major doctrines followed by the society. The follower of
Christianity and Pagans seem to constantly conflict due to the difference in their beliefs. For
example, pagans celebrated and worshiped several gods which they believed brought fortune and
good luck. They also celebrated the first day of May since it marked the end of the winter (Laird,
1975). According to the belief of heathens, they believed that summer was the period of
harvesting as the gods were rewarding them for their hard work. Also, they used the ceremony to
worship the sun for fertility. Christians were opposed to the worship of idols; they believed that
Emma 5
the Supreme Being did not approve such practices. However, the Catholic had a festival on the
same day since it's ushered in the feast month. Schism was also prevalent within the religion
itself. For example, Tess got the kid of wedlock which was against the principle of the
Christianity. Eventually, when her child dies, she is forced to bury her kid during the night to
avoid being scorned by the churchgoers. The action reveals the division that forms among
Christians, which is anchored in the adherence to the doctrines.
Religion has played an essential role in propagating changes in the society. Change is
inevitable in almost every society. The work of Hardy also depicts this aspect of religion which
has been essential in bringing change in the society. Baptism which is a Christian practice is
done to usher a new personality in an individual’s life. Such practices inspire change in an
individual and ensure that they follow to the latter the set doctrines. Besides, according to
Christian, it is an assurance of eternal life. The protagonist understands the essence of baptism,
despite her action being in contrast to the doctrines. Eventually, she baptizes her kid despite all
the circumstances. The author also has a view that religion seems to abandon people with
dogmas and principles that fail to mesh with modern society. In Tess, with a few exceptions, the
author portrayal ‘traditionally’ religious people are not specifically complimentary. For example,
looking at the casual remarks by Angel’s brothers, Felix and Cuthbert (Hardy, 1998); the two
individuals are quite involved in themselves. Changing their dogmas and values to match the
times; both siblings are clerics without compassion, possibly in the same mould as the Vicar in
Marlott (Hardy, 1998).
Education has also played a key role in religion. The way different individual interpret
the set dogmas has also significantly affected several aspects of the society. For example, the
bible is meant to aid Christian in understanding key component of the doctrines of Christians.
Emma 6
Some individuals miss the deep meaning of the scripture, a character such as Tess seem to have a
deep sense of the scripture. A character like Alec depicts rather a unique aspect of the
understanding of the scriptures. Alec is the worst kind of convert who renounces his former ways
but soon becomes a sinner with the slightest provocation to temptation (Hardy, 1998). Besides,
Clergy depicts a poor representation of religion since she failed to attend formal education.
However, the protagonist represents a unique aspect with regards to education and religion. She
is a powerful as a clergyman; the situation is portrayed when she baptize her child. However, she
has to pay for her sins due to her action. She understands the scripture but still commit sins
related to killing. In a similar situation, Revered Claire is a god man who is a part of an
evangelical movement which spread the gospel in different religions. However, despite her deep
understanding of the Bible, he believes that salvation comes through grace and belief.
Amos Barton
The novel represents a religious fiction book written by George. The book gives insight
into the life of Christians and some of the challenges clergymen face on the journey of preaching
salvation. The novel is based on some of the several struggles the church undergoes in the
preaching of the gospel as well in incorporating changes in the outside world. The role of
religion is prevalent in the author work. Religion has a purpose of defining particular behaviour
in the society. Christianity is based on the fundamental principle of the life and work of Jesus
Christ. The clergy people have taken the mantle of teaching the values and beliefs of
Christianity. The values have played a critical role in defining what is right and wrong. The
society has a different way of defining right and wrong. In most case, failure to observe
particular norms or a belief is considered a wrong. In some, communities, if the magnitude of the
wrong is high, it considered as a taboo. On the other hand, when an individual upheld set norms
Emma 7
and values he is regarded right. In the contemporary Christian context, adherence to the teaching
of the Christ is what Amos is pushing towards his congregation.
Suffering and lack of a good life have also been a primary course of religion. In most
case, the clergymen are entrusted with the noble role of ensuring that gospel is passed on to other
parts of the world. The protagonist is a family man who is blessed with a good wife and a large
family as well. As a clergyman, he had to persevere with mocking and high level of hate that
emerged from his congregation. A bigger portion of the congregation regarded him as an
unpopular and less influential clergyman who lacked the ways and means to inspire changes in
the society. He and his family must borrow to survive. This situation of extreme poverty is
witnessed when he lost his wife during childbirth (Eliot & Noble, 1985). The scenario left him
devastated due to his loss. The fact that he is a clergyman, he is prone to the suffering of which
most them is anchored on the fact that he is a clergyman who has embarked on a relentless
endeavour of spreading the gospel. However, his suffering was received when he was offered a
place to a residence in the church. There was general regret among the parishioners at his
departure: not that any one of them thought his spiritual gifts preeminent, or was conscious of
great edification from his ministry. But his recent troubles had called out their better sympathies,
and that is always a source of love. Amos failed to touch the spring of goodness by his sermons,
but he touched it effectually by his sorrows, and there was now a real bond between him and his
The motivation of the society through various Christians teaching has been made possible
by religion. The church always selected topics which are meant to inspire the congregation. The
protagonist seems to be failing in this role of influencing the congregation due to his poor
communication skill. However, the other leaders of the church seem to be doing well in that area.
Emma 8
Besides, the church appears to influence changes that the society is facing; a strict adherence in
one of the areas that religion has played a key role. The Sabbath according to the teaching should
be kept holy, and Christians should spend the better part of the day giving thanks and praising
the Supreme Being (Eliot & Noble, 1985). Eventually, religion has become an essential aspect of
human existence which has been based on the principle and dogmas of Christianity. The story
represents a Christianity society which adopts the dogmas of Christianity as well as embracing
its relevance in the contemporary society.
The Heart of Darkness
The novella talks about a voyage in Africa in the Congo area. The author uses a unique
hallmark narration which does not reveal the character. Marlow is the protagonist in the book
who is part group of Shipmen which also includes an accountant, lawyer, and a director. The
protagonist does not fit in any of the categories but provides a significant contribution to the
book. He also helps in the formulation of several themes such as religion, imperialism and the
topic of religion. The author describes as a unique character loves travelling. Besides, he seems
to be conversant with the idea of colonisation and give narrations of his previous experience in
Just as the title suggests, the Africa is devoid of religion. Initially, when the passage
starts, it’s difficult to determine whether Conrad is criticizing colonisation or whether he is
advocating for religion. The pilgrim and the native are the two types of religion that are prevalent
in the area. The natives are heathens who seem to have a thirst for blood. The religion is
responsible for defining what is right and wrong. Besides, religion ensures there harmony and
tranquillity in the society. In our scenario, the community seems to lack this aspect. The thirst for
blood is the perfect manifestation of blood. The protagonist witnessed this when heathen
Emma 9
attacked them in the ship (Conrad, 1996). They killed a member of his crew mercilessly without
having a second thought. The series of attack orchestrated by the heathen in the interior and is
also a clear indication of the perspective.
Religion also affects several aspects of the society; religion dictates cultural practice.
Local communities perform a series of cultural activities which were aimed at strengthening their
set of doctrines. The author also used Kurtz to depict the impact of religion on the individual
perspective. Kurtz seems to be compelled by the pagan African religion and also the Christians
way but seems beholden to neither.
Comparing the Three Books
Religion has played an essential role in defining the norms, belief and moral values.
Conrad, Hardy, and George have vividly demonstrated this aspect in their work. Hardy work
presents a society which has two paganism and Christianity as the religion. Christian seems to be
following the teaching of the scripture. Baptism and preaching about salvation happen to
maintain some of the main basic aspects of the religion. Tess, who is the protagonist seem to be a
staunch Christian who follows the dogmas of Christianity, but at some point, she failed to meet
the societal expectations. On the same context, pagans were worshiping gods who were believed
to have an imperative role in guiding the society. Besides, the gods were believed to bring forth
good harvest as well as protecting the society. In George book, the religion was Christianity
whereby they followed the principles which were borrowed from the life of Christ. However,
hypocrisy was common in the society as well as poverty. Finally, Conrad brings the religion of
pagans and pilgrims. The African continent is considered dark since they are yet to witness
‘light,’ most of their activities are guided by pagan ways which disregard the human aspects
(Conrad, 2014). Eventually, they have developed an appetite for human blood.
Emma 10
Religion has proved to be a key driver of schism in the society; this is because each
religion follows a particular set of dogmas. Eventually, some of the practices exercised by
different religions are different from the other. For example, in Hardy work, there is a thick line
between the way of Christians and those of the pagans. The situation created a rift especially in
the observance of specific practices. Surprisingly, there exists a division between Christians and
fellow Christians. The situation arises when an individual fails to adhere to set principles. Tess
who is the protagonist had a hard time since she conceived out of the wedlock. Shame and
mocking befell her; besides, her kid cannot be baptized nor buried according to the ways of
Christians. In the work of George, hypocrisy seems to the key underlying factor which brings
division in the society. The society is composed of Christians who follow the doctrine of
Christianity; however, the high level of hypocrisy seems to the cause of conflict in the society.
In the Conrad book, the way and doctrine of the pagan and the pilgrims appear to the cause of
division and conflict in the society. Their thirst for blood has led to suffering in the society since
they have no problem butchering human being now and then.
Different societies have a specific ways of defining right and wrong as well as good and
evil. The norms, values and cultural practice of a society are what illustrate these aspects.
Religion has been the basis under which these fundamentals are created. In the work of Hardy
Christian and pagans follow a particular set of practices. The moral definition of right and wrong
is embodied in the religion. For Christianity, the principles are embodied in the Bible which they
keep referring from. The same aspect has been adopted in Georges work. In the case of Heart in
the Darkness, the society defines wrong according to the practices of pagans and the pilgrims.
Eventually, the aspect of wrong has been dependant on religion of the society. In the case of
Emma 11
Tess, she committed a crime which was against the teaching of Christianity as well as those of
land. Due to her action, she had to pay for her sins.
Apparently, the three books have successfully portrayed impacts of religion in a society.
Christianity, paganism, and pilgrims are some of the religion which has been discussed in the
three books. The essential point to take home is the fact that they have played an imperative role
in the different society. Christianity has defined bad and evil and influenced specific practice.
Paganism has been synonymous with idol worship, and in some cases, human sacrifice has been
practice. The two doctrines represent the critical differences in the society that practice it.
However, there is a common goal for the different religions, which is creating order among
communities. Besides, religion has been responsible for schism in the society especially in a
scenario where perseverance has not been practiced. However, peace and harmony have been
attributed to religion since it has been found to instil moral values which have proved to be
essential in the society. Eventually, religion has been found to be crucial in motivating people in
the society as well as providing encouragement and defining relationships.
Emma 12
Hardy, T. (1998). TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES. Tess of the d’ Urbervilles, 19-384.
Laird, J. T. (1975). The shaping of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press.
Conrad, J. (1996). Cultural Criticism and Heart of Darkness. Heart of Darkness, 258-298.
Conrad, J. (1996). Deconstruction and Heart of Darkness. Heart of Darkness, 185-220.
Conrad, J., (2014). Heart of darkness: Joseph Conrad, New York, NY: Spark Publishing.
Eliot, G., & Noble, T. A. (1985). Scenes of clerical life. Oxford: Clarendon Press
Barton, J. (n.d.). Amos: The Critical Issues. The Theology of the Book of Amos, 1-51.

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