The Minister's Wooing is a historical novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Set in eighteenth-century New England, the novel satirizes the Calvinism Stowe had grown up with. While it is often compared to Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850), The Minster's Wooing takes a different look at the regional history of New England and connects with Stowe's earlier anti-slavery novels in that it highlights the issue of slavery, this time in the north. In contrast to Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter, The Minister's Wooing is a "sentimental romance"; its central plot revolves around getting married. Stowe was intimately familiar with the historical issues in the novel and many aspects are based on her own and her older sister Catharine's life. In particular, responding to the untimely death of two of her children, Stowe addresses the issue of predestination, the idea that individuals were either "saved" or "damned," and only the elect would go to heaven. In this novel, Stowe exposes the contradictions inherent in Calvinism, the religion of her father, the well-known minister Lyman Beecher.
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January 18, 2011
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