What is the Oven supposed to be in Paradise?

The Oven in Paradise is an actual oven that stands in the center of the town of New Haven. As a relic taken from the town's homestead, the Oven symbolizes the laws of purity and freedom they claim to stand for.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

On page 6, one of the unnamed characters walking through the convent states that an oven once stood in the center of the town of Haven.

The people of Haven loved the oven so much that when they moved, they decided to take it apart and carry it 240 miles...

View
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

On page 6, one of the unnamed characters walking through the convent states that an oven once stood in the center of the town of Haven.

The people of Haven loved the oven so much that when they moved, they decided to take it apart and carry it 240 miles to what he says the government called "unassigned land." The unnamed character says that he remembers the ceremony they held upon its reopening:

He himself had helped clean off sixty-two years of carbon and animal fat so the words shone as brightly as they did in 1890.

Since the Oven was built in the town center, it soon, like it had in Haven, became a meeting point. For example, the character states that they had met there to plan their attack on the Convent. Residents had also built barns nearby, where people could gather to swap stories about the history of the town and hold prayer meetings. Sometimes livestock was slaughtered, cooked, and eaten there. When the town had no electricity and gas, the Oven was used to feed the whole town.

So as the most famous structure in New Haven, the Oven symbolizes everything that the town claims it believes in: purity, freedom, and togetherness.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team