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Charles Brocken Brown’s “Wieland; or the Transformation” is an American gothic novel regarding a father’s death by an unexpected combustion from assumingly disobeying a vow to the Holy Spirit. “His first novel, Wieland; or The Transformation: An American Tale, may be the nation’s first significant novel ( ). The Wieland’s comes from an exceedingly religious family. Yet, every member has their own ways of God and how they practice their belief. The role of this family becomes a significant extent in the tale. A family is a substantial aspect all over the world. The novel launches into a quick summary and the reader gets a better understanding of the Wieland’s. But, it still does not give the reader a good comprehension about the characters. There is an isolation factor with Clara and Theodore because of the loss of their mother and father. Clara and Wieland inherit their father’s property. The reader is informed that the two siblings seem to pick up on a supernatural force that came from their father. In the beginning, it is unknown who the narrator is, but eventually; we are informed that it is, Wieland’s sister, Clara. Throughout the story, there becomes a mysterious scene of a murder, and it is expected for the reader to determine who did it before it is revealed. This is when the two siblings desperately need to rely on each other even more. Theodore and Clara ultimately got taken in by their aunt. Theodore falls in love with a girl named Catharine, and they begin to live with each. Then, Clara soon lives alone in a small house close to the original Wieland land. Also, Theodore marries Catharine which is Clara’s close friend. The narrator, Clara, refers to her new family and some friends as a “society” (Brown 27). She exclaims that the “society” slowly starts to fall apart when she sees Carwin, a peculiar stranger. Clara and Wieland cannot decide if Carwin is good or evil. The main events in this story do not happen until a couple years later. The family simply becomes a strong factor throughout this horrid tale, and the duty of this family is religious.
The Wieland family puts faith into their God. The father is the most religious out of the mother, Clara, and Theodore. He is a fanatic for it, and Mr. Wieland also practiced meditation. He even had a personal place to pray and “Eventually his religion strictness, along with a missionary zeal, causes him to immigrate to America where he will seek to evangelize the Indians to rural Pennsylvania ( ). Wieland wanted people to get educated on his religion, and he sent off to a different to do this. They reject him, and Mr. Wieland becomes depressed. He wanted the Native Americans to accept the religion. The father traveled all the way to American just to get declined from a perspective he was passionate about. “He had imbibed an opinion that it was his duty to disseminate the truths of the gospel among the unbelieving nations” (Brown 9). The elder Wieland believed that it was his duty to spread the word of God. He creates an individual private religion but hoped to pass it down to his children. When he felt like he needed to spread the word of his God, he soon believes that he failed his deity. Their father believed he had a missionary calling but feared not responding a “call” to be one. It is assumed when Wieland was meditating in his temple, that was when he passed away. Before he passed away, he talked a lot about death. His brother went to examine what happened because there was a loud noise. His character was sorrowful and delirious. The father’s cause of death is unpredictable, but his daughter, Clara, determines that he passed from a supernatural cause.
Mrs. Wieland is also a religious person in this novel. Yet, she was not as godly as Mr. Wieland. “But she was punctual in the offices of prayer, and in the performance of hymns to her Saviour” (Brown 11). She is religious, and she does it when necessary. Mrs. Wieland worships but only in church. The elder Wieland did not get involved with her ways of the lord. He did not, in fact, agree with her religious views. Wieland was intensely pious, and her belief was not what he referred. She does not play a big role in the story, but she did have a different style of praising their God. Soon after her husband passed away, Mrs. Wieland also became deceased. After both of their parent’s death, Clara and Theodore start to experience voices around their surroundings.
Clara Wieland was not as involved with God as much as the others were. She did believe in the holy spirit. The sister, Clara, was not unreligious, but she focused more on nature. She did continue a tradition of the family which is meditating. The readers may assume this is when she concluded that her father gets killed from a supernatural cause. Clara started hearing voices around her. She perceived two men in her closet arranging her death and warning her to not come into her summer house. Clara’s summer house was a hidden outdoor place she loved going to. Francis Carwin was acquainted with the family’s “society” now. Nobody knew who he was, but they let Carwin be a part of their life. Clara was alone in her chamber alone by herself when she instantly felt like someone was with her in the closet. The voice commanded her to not open the closet, but she declined the demand and slanged the doors wide open. By Clara’s surprise, she detected that it was Carwin hiding in her chamber. When Pleyel suddenly returned, he discovered that Carwin was accused of robbery and murder. Clara felt miserable, but she was appalled to be given a letter from Carwin that day. He wanted to meet her, so he could fix his actions from the day he was caught in her closet. As soon as she finished meditating and thinking about his request, she is ready to hear his explanation. When she arrived at her house at the time he asked her to meet him, she was shocked to see her chamber light on. As she went up the steps to her chamber, she hears a high-pitch voice telling her to go away and then Clara spots a terrifying face in the hallway. When she makes it to her chamber, she finds Catharine’s, her brother’s wife, body on her bed. She was dead, and Clara realized that someone had left a note. Carwin was not there, and he left the note. Wieland came to her house and seen his wife’s dead body. He ran out, and a group of community members poured in at the scene. Clara then was informed that Wieland, his four children, and Louisa were murdered as well. The news shocked her so considerably that she fainted. When she gained consciousness, she had a thought that Carwin had to play a part in the murders considering he was convicted a murderer. Carwin vanished in her room and explained to her that he was to blame for all the voices.
Theodore Wieland continued his father’s devotion but in his preferred technique. He does continue some of his father’s tradition with his religious views. His worship was mixed with literature and science (Brown 22). As well as his father, Theodore was mournful. Wieland returned to his place where he left a letter. When he got there, he thought he heard his wife’s, Catharine, voice. It was determined that she had never left the Wieland house (Brown 31). Theodore was concerned about the supernatural explanations after what he just discovered. After all these horrendous situations, he falls in a mad delirium. After he ran out when he found his wife’s dead body, the reader infers that the news more than likely shocks him. It is acknowledged that Wieland is the person who killed all the bodies. When Clara awakes from becoming ill, her uncle presented her the trial of the man who killed everyone. She is astonished to find out it was Wieland that was trialed for the murder. He testifies that he was told by the lord to kill them. “Wieland, meanwhile, determines that the voice is God’s, and God is telling him to kill his wife and children” ( ). Clara left America to travel with her uncle. She wanted to visit her brother who received a life sentence. Her uncle informed her that he attempted to escape prison and try to murder her. Theodore still believed it was God’s will. Carwin admits he was in control of the voices but did not intend on Theodore killing his family. Clara still blamed Carwin even though she knew Wieland killed them. He escaped from prison and came to kill Clara but Carwin used his ventriloquist voices to tell him to quit. When the voices told him that he killed his family, he stabbed himself in the neck desperately. Clara became mad and declared she wanted to die in her house. Her uncle, finally, talked her into going to Europe as they had planned before.
In conclusion, the Wieland family was devoted to their God. Yet, every member of the family has their individual approach on how they worship. The father was the most religious and was an addict for it. Mrs. Wieland only worshiped in church. Theodore was, similarly, like his father but maintained his religion within literature and science. Clara Wieland was not irreligious but focused more interest in nature. Throughout the tragic tale, a series of mysterious events come into the scene. The Wieland’s seemed like a normal family until the parents became deceased. Clara and Theodore begin to hear voices. This results in Wieland killing his family, and he must attend prison. Clara moves off and marries Pleyel. The family is religious but also

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Charles Brocken Brown's "Wieland. (2019, Jun 28). Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://midwestcri.org/charles-brocken-browns-wieland/

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