Study Guide

Evangeline Suffering

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Suffering

Let's try this, Shmoopers. Imagine you keep your home, your family, your beloved, and your favorite cow all in the same box. (It would have to be a big box, but let's not get hung up on technicalities.) Now, let's imagine someone came along, ripped that box out of your arms, dumped it upside down, scattered everything you held dear to the four winds, and then—just for good measure—set your box on fire. Are you suffering yet? Good—okay well, not good, but at least you know how Evangeline feels.

"Evangeline" is a poem about just how much suffering someone can endure. Importantly, though, it shows us what it takes to endure that kind of hardship: faith, love, and… a good pair of walking shoes.

Questions About Suffering

  1. What "lesson" do we learn from all of Evangeline's suffering? Does it have a point?
  2. How does Evangeline react to suffering?
  3. After the Acadians resettle in Louisiana, does their suffering cease?
  4. Is suffering the price of love? How might the speaker answer that question?

Chew on This

Evangeline is the ultimate teacher. In this poem, she shows us all how to endure suffering with grace and persistence.

This poem proves that the true price of love is suffering. Sorry y'all—no discounts.