Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield



Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield


Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield

Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield

Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield


Religious and Moral Notes in Vicat of Wakefield

‘The Vicar of Wakefield’ by Oliver Goldsmith is a celebrated novel in the English language ever written. It is a unique novel in all rounds. It has also religious and moral values within itself. Goldsmith himself was reformative minded whose heart was replete with charity, generosity and simplicity.

Dr. Primrose, the hero of the novel ‘The Vicar of Wakefiled‘ is simple-minded, philosophical wise and charitable. He is a pious and devout priest. His faith in Christism is strong and reformative. He is content with whatever little he has. He has no worldly ambition. He is the ideal of patience for which he could manage every calamity faced in life. He advocated the principle of single marriage. He said and showed that a clergyman should not marry twice or more in life.

He is reformative-minded. When he was sent to jail for being unable to pay his debt, he did not break down and advised his followers to take patience. He said addressing the inhabitants of the parish that they should not attack the jailers demanding his release. Going to jail, he experienced that the prisoners led a life of lewdness and brutality. At first, the prisoners mocked at the Vicar but eventually, he won the respect of the prisoners and they were deeply impressed by the vicar’s arguments and his sincerity. He aimed at bringing the hardened criminals back to the path of virtue and righteousness. So he organized them to make goods for sale outside the prison and so the prisoners began to make their time profitable. Thus the prisoners began to feel economic independence which restored self-respect in them. He also delivered sermons to the prisoners and drew their hearts and mind to the path of God and Christ.

After being successful in reforming the prisoners, he turned his mind to reforming the penal code of the country. He noticed that the prevailing law punished the criminals without attempting to reform them. He also criticized the death sentence for minor offences. The prevailing law system made undesirable discrimination between the rich and the poor. He advocated that the law should be the protector rather than the means of vengeance. Thus Goldsmith’s reformative vein of mind is revealed clearly through Dr. Primrose.

Moreover, the morality of Goldsmith is also expressed through Dr. Primrose. He always advised his children to live a simple, devout and humble life. He said:

‘If I am to be a beggar, it shall never make me a rascal or induce me to disavow my principles.’

He like a puritan disclaims finery and fashion.

Dr. Primrose’s mind is full of natural affection for which he forgave everybody and even those who had done wrong to him. In short, the loss of money, the abduction of his daughters, the burning of his house, and the imprisonment of his son and himself are borne with him without losing his balance of heart and mind as well.

Goldsmith’s morality and moral outlook toward life are expressed through Sir William Thornhill alias Mr. Burchell also. He was so much generous that he gave a large amount of his money to relieve the distress of a soldier. He is brave and courageous and risks his life to save Sophia from the hand of the ruffians who were kidnapping her. He was also very fond of children for which he had always some sweets with him to give them as gifts.

There is a lesson of morality and charity in the personality of the Jailor. He was a kind-hearted person and he showed good behaviour towards him and helped Dr. Primrose to accommodate his family near the jail. Moreover, he gave economic aid to the affected Dr. Primrose family.

Thus the novel bears the stamp of the religious as well as the moral outlooks of Oliver Goldsmith for which the novel has acquired a deductive significance. In short Dr. Primrose, the hero of the novel is an emblem of Christianity as well as of Christ. 0 0 0

Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield 

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Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield

N. B. This article entitled ‘Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield’ originally belongs to the book ‘World Novel Criticism‘ by Menonim Menonimus. Religious and Moral Lesson in Vicar of Wakefield

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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