Study Guide

Evangeline Religion

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Religion

If religion is your thing, then Shmoopers you've come to the right poem. "Evangeline" is a story about French Catholic colonists, so it's only natural that their religion plays a central role in their lives. Sure, at times the poem can get a bit heavy-handed (come on, did the Acadian kids really stop playing tag so that they could run over and kiss the priest's hand?). At the same time, though, religion is an overwhelmingly positive force in this poem. It comforts and sustains these people, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Questions About Religion

  1. How is the Catholic Church portrayed in this poem?
  2. What's up with all the Biblical references? Why does the speaker include so many?
  3. Why do you think Evangeline winds up joining the Sisters of Mercy, a religious charity?
  4. Why does Evangeline say "Father, I thank thee" after Gabriel dies (1380)? What does this scene say about the importance of religion?

Chew on This

Love is nice and all, but it's her religious faith that really sustains Evangeline through her hardships.

At its core, religion is about sacrifice for others. Evangeline is the perfect example of the kind of good that can result from religious belief.