Biblical Allusions to Mountains in Literature

The importance of mountains in the Bible is without a doubt very large. The mountain that is most important in the Bible is Mount Sinai where Moses received from God the Ten Commandments. The mountain in this scene signifies importance and revelations of new ideas and concepts. The Ten Commandments are arguably the most important thing God gives to people, and these words were given to Moses on a mountain.

An example of a mountain in literature is the scene in The Great Gatsby where Gatsby is standing at the top of his large staircase, overlooking his party. Although not a literal mountain, the staircase places Gatsby in a place of higher altitude, almost resembling a mountain. Gatsby in this moment becomes a God-like figure in the way that no one really knows the truth about him, although he is one of the most well known people. This figurative mountain gives the reader much to consider concerning the importance of Gatsby and his life while reading The Great Gatsby.

Another place where a figurative mountain is used to signify importance and revelations in literature:

In The Scarlet Letter when Hester first stands on the scaffold, and later on in the book, Dimmesdale stands on the scaffold. The scaffold is the figurative mountain, placing these characters above the rest in order to make them stand out. Hester and Pearl are first publicly humiliated on this scaffold, and this is the place where Hester decides to not let the public bother her, and she goes on to be pretty successful considering the sin she committed. Dimmesdale is also set up on the scaffold at the end of the book when he is giving his final speech confessing to the sins he committed with Hester. This figurative mountain is a place that brings clarity to characters’ situations.


This photo represents my biblical allusion because it gives a sense of clarity surrounding the mountain. The bright light symbolizes the clarity and understanding, while the darker shadows near the bottom of the mountains represents the common people still shrouded in darkness and misunderstanding.

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2 Responses to Biblical Allusions to Mountains in Literature

  1. nickcalfano says:

    I really loved your comparison of Moses on Mount Sinai to Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby. It is a fantastic allusion. However, I would love it if you gave the importance of a Mountain in another Biblical story, perhaps one Mountain symbolizing something different from the one in this story. Are there such stories in the Bible with a Mountain portraying negative connotations as well?

  2. 15aek says:

    Your comparison of a mountain and Gatsby at the top of staircase is very creative and intuitive. Personally I would not have picked up on the allusion in that moment, but after reading your explanation it seems to fit perfectly. I also really liked that you included two examples.

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