Inspired Scribe
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Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Cain's Moral Readings: Milton

[ Edited ]
There is a definite raised moral awareness in Cain as he reads Milton's PARADISE LOST.

In the beginnning of the novel, he identifies with Satan as a Southerner, a grand and noble but doomed figure. It's a romantic notion that feeds his wanderlust and his fanciful dreams for adventure.

But as the novel progresses, when he reads sections to Rosetta out loud, he begins to understand that he, too, like Satan, has free will. He does have to make moral choices. He can make the right moral decision, not return Rosetta to Eberly, and possibly redeem himself; or he can choose to make the wrong one, be egotistical like Satan, return her to slavery, and thereby doom himself.

During the ferry ride across Lake Champlain towards Vermont, he meets Willoby, the modern-day Tiresias, the blind soothsayer with second sight, who tells him, "Choose wisely."

Reading a moral poet like Milton definitely opened up the possibilities of making moral choices that Cain otherwise wouldn't even be aware of.

Message Edited by IBIS on 11-04-2007 09:45 PM

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-08-2007
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Re: Cain's Moral Readings: Milton

I agree that Cain at first sees himself in the doomed and "noble" rebell Satan in the early going of the book. But as his life takes on new meaning both through those people he meets, like the blind preacher, and of course through his interaction with Rosetta, Cain starts to see the true morality that Milton's poem speaks of. In fact, he reads sections both to Little Strofe and later to Rosetta, and it is here that the poem begins to take on new meaning for Cain.


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