10 Literature Works With Easter Scenes
With the abundance of inspiration that Christmas provides, Easter may be literature’s second biggest festival. Easter begins with triumph, progresses through betrayal, and suffering, and culminates in great triumph for believers. It provides a great symbolic journey for a novelist, which is the journey of humanity.
The idea of becoming new, of being born again and starting over is very powerful. Easter as the commemoration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, celebrated by Christians worldwide, has come a long way from centuries before us. No doubt, it will still be celebrated many centuries from now.
One loveable aspect of literature is the way it draws from real-life happenings and remains preserved; relevant even against the backdrop of societal dynamism.
In this list, we’ve put together 10 literature works with Easter scenes.
#1. George Herbert – Easter Wings
Although Herbert wrote a number of poems for Easter, Easter Wings is easily his most celebrated Easter poem. As a reader, the first striking thing is the way the words form the shape of birds’ wings.
#2. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice
Widely known as the ultimate ‘happily-ever-after’ book, Easter marks the novel’s turning point. Elizabeth is staying in Kent, and Darcy, while visiting his aunt nearby, surprises her by proposing. Although she rejects him, the series of events that follows make them allies.
#3. WB Yeats – Easter 1916
Yeats as a politician opposed armed nationalism, but he honoured those who died after Dublin’s Easter Rising. In this poem, he compares them to Christ-like martyrs possessing “a terrible beauty”.
#4. Thomas Hardy – Unkept Good Fridays
An antidote to religious Easter poems, this poem is a tribute to the “unpenned… nameless Christs”, “men whom rulers slew / For their goodwill” and other victims of torture and oppression who have no “Good Fridays” commemorating their suffering.
#5. Chimamanda Adichie – Purple Hibiscus
An important part of this story is its opening lines. The rebellion occurs when Jaja refuses to go to communion on Palm Sunday, after which things begin to “fall apart”. The narration progresses and it’s all traced back to the holidays they spend with Aunty Ifeoma in Nsukka. Overall, it’s a memorable scene central to the book’s theme.
#6. T. S. Eliot – East Coker
East Coker is the second of Eliot’s Four Quartets. The fourth section is a short lyric that casts Christ as a ‘wounded surgeon’ – wounded because of the Crucifixion, but a ‘surgeon’ who carries the cure for all of humanity’s ills.
#7. William Faulkner – The Sound and the Fury
As with books with unusual narrators, the story opens inside the mind of the “idiot” Benjy Compson, a 33-year-old man with the mind of a small child. Three of the four parts of the story are set on the Easter weekend of 1928, with the final part occurring on Easter Sunday. In the novel, several characters are paralleled with Christ’s death and resurrection.
Holy Saturday marks its narrator Benjy’s birthday as he turns 33; Jesus Christ died at age 33. Benjy may be seen as a Christ figure, cast aside as an idiot, and made impotent by modern society. In the end, readers must decide for themselves if there is any redemption for the Compson family.
#8. Breandán Ó hEithir – Lead Us Into Temptation
Set during the Easter weekend of 1949, the novel tells the story of Martin Melody, a pub-loving university student. The novel was published and took its title as a rebellion against the pious Lord’s Prayer. But most memorable of all is when Martin and his roommate, Billy are awoken by the landlady Mrs. Anderson, who had already been to morning devotions, the stations of the cross, the cemetery, and other sessions. One would only empathize with the misery they endured on that long Good Friday.
#9. R. C. Sproul – The Prince’s Poison Cup
R.C. Sproul as a Minister had a knack for sharing the gospel through the literary device; allegory. The Prince’s Poison Cup is one of his best books. It’s the story of a prince whose people have strayed, and he illustrates grace in a uniquely powerful way.
“Everyone who believes Easter is about more than bunnies and eggs will be grateful for this new collection of short stories that shed light on the deeper meaning of the season. Selected for their spiritual value and literary quality, these classic tales capture the spirit of Easter in a way that will captivate readers of all ages. Parents and grandparents will find that children love to hear these stories read aloud, year after year.
Easter Stories includes time-honored favorites from world-famous storytellers such as C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Selma Lagerlof, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Goudge, Maxim Gorky, Ruth Sawyer, and Walter Wangerin – as well as many you’ve never heard before. Illustrated with original woodcuts.”
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