Authors of modern literature often reference and use motifs that come from the Bible in their writing very frequently. One of the more commonly referenced motifs is that of God’s power. In the Bible, the main story that shows God’s power is the creation story in the book of Genesis, Chapter 1. In this chapter, it talks about how God created the Earth and all of the things on Earth like day and night or land and water. This scene shows God’s power in that he created the world and sets up a perfect balance for all of existence to live in. A piece of literature that shows this power is in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. In the story, there is a common theme that God is all-powerful and controls things that happen in life. According to a matron in the story the “magistrates are God-fearing gentlemen, but merciful overmuch—that is a truth.” This shows how the people respect and somewhat fear God’s power in their everyday lives. This showcase of God’s power shines through into Hester and everyone around her’s lives. A piece of textual evidence to support this is when a townsman says, “Peradventure the guilty one stands looking on at this sad spectacle, unknown of man, and forgetting that God sees him.” The key part of this quotation is where the man says that God sees him. According to many people of this time period, God sees all and is all-powerful. This is one example of the bible motif of God’s power shining through in today’s modern literature. A second example that could be interpreted as a showcase of God’s power is in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In this novel, two of the main characters, Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby used to be in love, but when Gatsby leaves for a while, he comes back to see that Daisy has married Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby’s love is lost now. Later in his life, he moves across the bay from where Daisy and Tom live so that he can try to rekindle his love with Daisy and potentially steal her back from Tom. Despite his best efforts, Daisy will remain with Tom because of the power of God and the bond that marriage provides. Even though the reader may not think that Daisy and Tom’s marriage is perfect, it is still a marriage with God looking down over them. Tom is not the person to end a marriage, especially after he is described in Chapter 6 as a “son of God.” Tom is a man of God, much like his father, so he knows better than to leave Daisy. These two works of literature showcase God’s power in modern literature and how the motif shines through even today.
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