Explain the following quote:
"The founders of a colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally protect, have invariably reconized it among their earliest pratical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin sail as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison."
1 Answer | Add Yours
As this quotation occurs on the opening page of the novel, it sets the tone for the work. First of all, the satire is evident. Puritan era Massachusettes is hardly a Utopia. What the Puritan community seeks is a society filled with virtue and morality in keeping with its strict Orthodox beliefs. What it has created is a society of hyperjudgmentalists and and a trail of nasty secrets.
Thus, the second part of the quotation provides a more realist view: the need for a prison and a cemetary. Ironically, if one is attempting to create a Utopia, it's odd that the first considerations are given to criminals and the dead.
The rest of the novel exposes the secrets and hypocrisy of the community which, again ironically, begins in a prison and ends in a cemetary.
We’ve answered 318,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question