Biblical Allusions in Literature: Water


In the Bible, water is used in “The Creation” to represent God’s power and again in “The Flood.” Water is a powerful tool that can have a considerable impact on a person’s life. Water is also used in the Bible to represent rebirth and new life through baptism. In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, when Edna swims she feels a cleanse and freedom that she desires. When Edna enters the water in chapter ten, she experiences a feeling of independence unlike anything she has ever felt before. The water is a place for Edna to release herself from society and renew her spirit. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Jim and Huck are secluded on the water from the racial injustice and chaos that they encounter on land. The river is a Biblical allusion to God’s power with water because of the way that they are protected from the sins of mankind while on the river. Water also symbolizes freedom and cleansing from society in the story. In The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Jake and Bill go on a fishing trip where they experience a cleansing as they free themselves from the bull fighting and partying in Pamplona. On the fishing trip, they get a relief while on the water from the busy city life and WWI When Jake goes swimming, he feels refreshed and cleansed. Water is a powerful literary tool that symbolizes rebirth and cleansing.

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1 Response to Biblical Allusions in Literature: Water

  1. mshlafstein says:

    I think you did a nice job of explaining the role of water in the Bible and how it is able to represent rebirth. The references to works we read this year complement this idea perfectly and show the calming and cleansing attribute of water. In the first lines you mention water and how it represents God’s power, is there any passages that are able to support that idea? One thing you can add is maybe a quote or two to really prove the effects water has on the characters described. An additional text you can add is from Gatsby and talk about how the bay separates him from Daisy, which ties in to the God having power and control through water.

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