Study Guide

Evangeline Justice and Judgment

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Justice and Judgment

At first, it may seem odd to associate "Evangeline" with the theme of justice. After all, what's just about having your house snatched out from underneath you and never getting to spend a single day with your new husband? You have to focus on the bigger picture, though, Shmoopers. Just check out what our man, the old notary public René Leblanc, has to say about justice. Even if we can't see it, there is a divine justice at work in the world. Not only does this dude rock an awesome mullet, but he has plenty to say about the way God's justice inevitably wins out in the end.

Questions About Justice and Judgment

  1. Is there any justice in this poem? If so, where?
  2. What do you make of René Leblanc's story (lines 304-325)? Does it really illustrate divine justice?
  3. In what ways does injustice motivate the characters in "Evangeline"?
  4. Do you think that Evangeline finds justice at the poem's end? Why or why not?

Chew on This

This poem shows us that faith and forgiveness are the only ways to overcome injustice.

The Acadians in this poem are way too passive in accepting the injustice that was done to them. They should all be out for some revenge, Evangeline included.