Study Guide

Serena Religion

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No matter what you believe, you can't deny that religion plays a big role in Serena, especially for the workers. Specifically, the Book of Revelation is quoted often, and the end times are talked about. If you're not big on religion, don't worry—there's not much in Serena to wrap your head around symbolically. If anything, we often see characters reach for the Bible for a bit of comfort. Interestingly, most of the upper class, greedy characters don't bother going to church or reading the Bible… Could the author be trying to tell us something? Read on, Shmoopers.

Questions About Religion

  1. What role does religion play in the life of the community in Serena? How do the upper and lower classes treat religion?
  2. Pemberton says that paying for electricity in the church is a worthwhile investment for the workers, even though he doesn't go to church himself. What do you think he means by this? Why should religion be important for them but not him?
  3. McIntyre is always spouting off fears about the end times. Do people take him or these seriously? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Religion in Serena is like a security blanket for the workers: It makes all the bad things seem a little better.

Even though McIntyre is serious about his beliefs that the end times are near, no one else buys it. His statements about religion usually just provide the comic relief in the book.

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