Author

Mary Keough

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Einboden, Jeffrey

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Department

Department of English

Abstract

Despite their widespread socio-religious influence and prominent endurance over time, the Bible and the Qur’an lack academic precedence in required literary coursework today. As prototypes for future literary works across cultures and historical epochs, the scriptures’ absence in mainstream collegiate study is especially disappointing. This essay, therefore, examines two classic American novels—Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick—through a scriptural lens, highlighting their similitude in character types, structure, style, and thematic content. Connecting significant narrative moments and stylistic nuances to biblical and Qur’anic text, this study exposes the importance of scriptural acumen to a deeper and more comprehensive study of the two novels. Moreover, stressing the self-aware and “living” quality of the Bible and the Qur’an reveals the underlying, esoteric threads tying The Scarlet Letter and Moby Dick to their scriptural counterparts. By constructing these literary bridges over spatial and temporal parameters, the paper underscores the need for required coursework in scriptural texts so English students can fully appreciate the unique roots of the American literary canon.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references.

Extent

25 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Alt Title

Borrowing the Bible, echoing the Koran : the significance of scriptural acumen and exegesis when studying The scarlet letter and Moby-Dick

Media Type

Text

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