As It Was in the Beginning - Summary | Write to be Read

E. Pauline Johnson

As It Was in the Beginning

As It Was in the Beginning - Summary:

The story “As It Was in the Beginning” is written by E. Pauline Johnson. The story is about a difficult situation to be experienced while spending life in a foreign country. On should face cultural, religious, geographical, mental, psychological and social hostility while leaving the native country. The story raises issues like homesickness; prejudice, discrimination, and hypocrisy.

The story is about Esther, a young Aboriginal woman, who left her family in order to become an educated person. She changed her religion and became a Christian. She learned the white men’s ways of life but felt homesickness. She missed the natural surroundings of the people. The story is important because it deals with the theme of discrimination and hypocrisy existed in America. The story illustrates the sufferings of Indians who are forced to follow the white-skinned culture. Father Paul, in the story, takes Esther away from her people and tries to turn her into a white civilized girl. Paul comes to love her but she feels pity. The story deals with the horrible injustice in the name of religion in the USA. Esther grew up with Paul and his nephew, Lawrence. She always hopes to go back home. One night, she realized that Lawrence and she are deeply in love for each other that brings happiness and new hope for her but was going to end because of Father Paul.

One day she confessed that she is in love with Lawrence and Lawrence too. Lawrence talked with his father to marry her who doesn’t agree. Paul imposed his sense of prejudice towards Esther regarding her as much less a woman with thoughts, feelings, and intelligence. He claimed that she was a pagan with mix blood whose mother was red-skinned and father French.   She was savage (wild) and an uncivilized person whom he never trusts and he convinced his son that marrying Esther was a bad decision. Then, Lawrence changes his decision of marrying Esther and pays attention to his job that broke Esther’s heart and made her wish to go back home more than ever. In the end, Esther wanted to kill Lawrence who betrayed her so that it could be a mourn (shock) for Paul. So, she quietly went to him and knelt down the poison that made him sleep forever and she escaped out of the house and reached to her family.

Hence, the writer uses irony and religious symbols to convey the hypocrisy of Father paul’s ideology about the native people.

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