Analysis of "The Parson's Lighthouse" Essay

Submitted By ktgreenebean
Words: 1080
Pages: 5

Katelyn Greene
ENGL 2290
Short Story Analysis

Analysis of “The Parson’s Lighthouse”

The Victorian Age has several main themes that are seen throughout literature. “The Parson’s Lighthouse” uses a few of these important concepts. The short story “The Parson’s Lighthouse” demonstrates acts of reform by mirroring Christian religion and using living conditions to show tragedy. “The Parson’s Lighthouse” greatly reflects Christianity. Mr. Montague represents God, as he plans to help the community and save lives from The Raven’s Crag. This is very similar to the story of God saving human souls from Satin, or Hell. Also, Mr. Montague sacrifices his only son, and his son’s money, to save more lives every year. Simon Weale reflects either the Roman king or the disciple Judas, as he is the enemy figure of the story and conducts the negativity towards the parson and leads the community to destroy the lighthouse. Harry Montague represents Jesus, because he gives up his college dreams and funds for the community. Harry plans to bring great treasure back to Sandiford upon his return from Australia, and ends up giving his life as well. The parson’s plan thereafter is to use the treasure to rebuild the lighthouse, as if God is rebuilding a relationship with humanity to save souls. This short story is very similar to that of the Christian religion. This aspect of religion contributes to the story’s Victorian characteristics. “The Parson’s Lighthouse” is a story portraying the horrible living conditions of the Victorian Age. A large aspect of Victorian literature was that of living conditions, and the poorness of them. In this story the village of Sandiford is living day to day in poverty and turmoil. The town loses an approximated twenty lives per year from shipwrecks at Raven’s Crag alone. Sandiford is a small town, consisting of about two to three thousand people in all. The town is made up completely of fishermen and their families. The people of Sandiford are described as very primitive and unconventional, and they are cut off from the world by the surrounding sea. Sandiford had no houses, only cottages. The poor town was highly dependent on the clergyman (parson), Mr. Montague. Simon Weale, the land agent of the London merchant did not treat the villagers well. If the tragedy of death struck a home, he would show no sympathy and take everything they had. Building the lighthouse at Raven’s Crag was also a great difficulty of the village; it took many months and a great deal of loans to make, and continually had to be restarted due to destruction. The people of Sandiford depended on such a thing as a lighthouse to save lives. This town was in great distress half the time due to deaths at Raven’s Crag, or poor conditions in their homes. The story of “The Parson’s Lighthouse” is factual and realistic, making it seem even more tragic than it already is. The setting and characters of this story are not fantastical or impossible; this is a realistic town during the Victorian time period, and the characters are credible, normal people. The aspect of reality in this story adds to its effect on readers. The setting in Sandiford sets up a sort of depressive mood to the story from the beginning. This story contains a great amount of death throughout, including a main character, Harry, the actual hero of Sandiford. The fact that Mr. Montague is willing to forgive the community and carry on with his lighthouse shows opportunity and second chances. The short story of the parson reflects the Victorian time period because it has the familiar images of new beginnings, opportunities, second chances, and a future, even when portrayed through a tragic story. “The Parson’s Lighthouse” represents Victorian Literature in its setting and its gothic element. “The Parson’s Lighthouse” features a great act of reform, by Mr. Montague in particular. The parson is willing to sacrifice his son and his son’s dreams of college for the fundraising for and…