Characters in the damnation of theron ware by harold frederic

My intention in creating a website devoted to Frederic's masterpiece is not only to promote awareness of the novel but also to provide high school and undergraduate students, as well as their teachers, with a resource that will situate The Damnation of Theron Ware within an historical as well as a literary and cultural context. Significant events and discoveries in the fields of science, technology, religion, philosophy, art, and literature shaped Frederic's thinking and writing, particularly the events and characters of The Damnation of Theron Ware. An understanding of this milieu is critical to understanding the issues of the richly complicated novel. The Damnation of Theron Ware, or Illumination as it is known in England, is the story of a Methodist minister who loses his faith when he makes the acquaintance of a Catholic priest, a post-Darwinian scientist, a New Woman, and a pragmatic con artist.

Characters in the damnation of theron ware by harold frederic

Theron Ware saw nothing of either the priest or the doctor, or the interesting Miss Madden. There were, indeed, more urgent matters to think about. June had come; and every succeeding day brought closer to hand the ordeal of his first Quarterly Conference in Octavius.

The waters grew distinctly rougher as his pastoral bark neared this difficult passage. He would have approached the great event with an easier mind if he could have made out just how he stood with his congregation. Unfortunately nothing in his previous experiences helped him in the least to measure or guess at the feelings of these curious Octavians.

Their Methodism seemed to be sound enough, and to stick quite to the letter of the Discipline, so long as it was expressed in formulae.

It was its spirit which he felt to be complicated by all sorts of conditions wholly novel to him. The existence of a line of street-cars in the town, for example, would not impress the casual thinker as likely to prove a rock in the path of peaceful religion.

Theron, in his simplicity, had even thought, when he first saw these bobtailed cars bumping along the rails in the middle of the main street, that they must be a great convenience to people living in the outskirts, who wished to get in to church of a Sunday morning.

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He was imprudent enough to mention this in conversation with one of his new parishioners. Then he learned, to his considerable chagrin, that when this line was built, some years before, a bitter war of words had been fought upon the question of its being worked on the Sabbath day.

At least once a year they were accustomed to expect a sermon denouncing it and all its impious Sunday patrons. Theron made a mental resolve that this year they should be disappointed. Another burning problem, which he had not been called upon before to confront, he found now entangled with the mysterious line which divided a circus from a menagerie.

Those itinerant tent-shows had never come his way heretofore, and he knew nothing of that fine balancing proportion between ladies in tights on horseback and cages full of deeply educational animals, which, even as the impartial rain, was designed to embrace alike the just and the unjust.

One of these cases still remained on the censorial docket of the church; and Theron understood that he was expected to name a committee of five to examine and try it. This he neglected to do. He was no longer at all certain that the congregation as a whole liked his sermons.

The truth was, no doubt, that he had learned enough to cease regarding the congregation as a whole. He could still rely upon carrying along with him in his discourses from the pulpit a large majority of interested and approving faces.

But here, unhappily, was a case where the majority did not rule. The minority, relatively small in numbers, was prodigious in virile force. More than twenty years had now elapsed since that minor schism in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the result of which was the independent body known as Free Methodists, had relieved the parent flock of its principal disturbing element.

The smaller and domestic fraction of Free Methodism separated itself upon an issue which may be most readily described as one of civilization. The seceders resented growth in material prosperity; they repudiated the introduction of written sermons and organ-music; they deplored the increasing laxity in meddlesome piety, the introduction of polite manners in the pulpit and classroom, and the development of even a rudimentary desire among the younger people of the church to be like others outside in dress and speech and deportment.

They did battle as long as they could, inside the fold, to restore it to the severely straight and narrow path of primitive Methodism.


When the adverse odds became too strong for them, they quitted the church and set up a Bethel for themselves. Octavius chanced to be one of the places where they were able to hold their own within the church organization.

The Methodism of the town had gone along without any local secession. It still held in full fellowship the radicals who elsewhere had followed their unbridled bent into the strongest emotional vagaries — where excited brethren worked themselves up into epileptic fits, and women whirled themselves about in weird religious ecstasies, like dervishes of the Orient, till they fell headlong in a state of trance.

Octavian Methodism was spared extravagances of this sort, it is true, but it paid a price for the immunity. The people whom an open split would have taken away remained to leaven and dominate the whole lump. This small advanced section, with its men of a type all the more aggressive from its narrowness, and women who went about solemnly in plain gray garments, with tight-fitting, unadorned, mouse-colored sunbonnets, had not been able wholly to enforce its views upon the social life of the church members, but of its controlling influence upon their official and public actions there could be no doubt.

The situation had begun to unfold itself to Theron from the outset. No week followed without bringing some new fulfilment of this foreboding. Now, at the end of two months, he knew well enough that the hitherto dominant minority was hostile to him and his ministry, and would do whatever it could against him.

Though Theron at once decided to show fight, and did not at all waver in that resolve, his courage was in the main of a despondent sort.The novel centers on the life of a Methodist pastor named Theron Ware who has recently moved to a fictional small town in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, which Frederic modeled after Utica, New York.

Read "The Damnation of Theron Ware" by Harold Frederic with Rakuten Kobo.

Characters in the damnation of theron ware by harold frederic

A naïve pastor falls under the spell of a sophisticated circle of friends in this gripping tale of an ambitious young ma. The Pit is the second novel in Frank Norris’s Epic of the Wheat, an unfinished trilogy meant to portray the production, distribution, and consumption of a crop of American wheat.

This is a list of novelists from the United States, listed with titles of a major work for each.. This is not intended to be a list of every American (born U.S.

citizen, naturalized citizen, or long-time resident alien) who has published a novel. (For the purposes of this article, novel is defined as an extended work of definition is loosely interpreted to include novellas.

In the past, we like to think, there were many more Acceptable Targets than there are today. Back then, unlike the present, an easy source of humor was to select people with a different appearance, culture, religion or gender from the assumed audience, treat them as inferior, and make fun of them.

In the past, we like to think, there were many more Acceptable Targets than there are today. Back then, unlike the present, an easy source of humor was to select people with a different appearance, culture, religion or gender from the assumed audience, treat them as inferior, and make fun of them.

"Harold Frederic's The Damnation of Theron Ware: A study guide with ann" by Robin Taylor Rogers