What is the basic theme of Barchester Towers by Trollope?
This novel is all about the way in which the church and its ministers are more often than not concerned with material rather than spiritual concerns. The central power struggle between Slope and Miss Proudie indicates that often ministers within the church are concerned by far more worldly concerns than their spirtual calling, and this novel parodies such visions of people holding office in the church as spiritual men through their presentation as very worldly men after all. Indeed, part of the strength of this satire is the way that Trollope presents the characters as using religious motivations to justify their actions. Slope therefore believes that Grantly is an enemy of religion, whilst the archdeacon in turn believes sincerely that Slope could be the ruin of the Church of England. At every turn, supposedly noble motives are used to cover or disguise what is essentially a power struggle, and Trollope emphasises the satire by treating this clerical struggles with mock-heroic comparisons.