Interpretive Essay Example on the Song of the Scaffold

Published: 2022-05-27
Interpretive Essay Example on the Song of the Scaffold
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 676 words
6 min read

The novel Song of The Scaffold written in 1931, is a fictional story based on the real scenario that takes place during the Reign of Terror in 18th Century France. The novel involves a convent of Carmelite nuns who consent martyrdom for the glory of God. Their faith of the longtime sister depicted alongside the confusion and fear of the new order. The character known as Blanche, for instance, had an intense relationship with fear and appeared to suffer from mental illness; her fate takes an exciting, different path. Thus, this paper aims to discuss the use of the ironic situation in the lives of the characters in the novel.

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The Irony of life of the Marquis de Force

The Marquis de la Force was a liberal patriot of parish royal. The circumstances of irony surrounding his life are that he is a father whose daughter known as Blanche converts to Christianity (Gertrud, 1931). The daughter felt happy and safe at Christianity, and perhaps this is why he referred her daughter as the poor timid child because at the time, Marquis was one of the people who were fighting Christianity. It is ironical that Marquis towards the end begins to support Christians due to her daughter. According to Marquis, the unfortunate circumstances that occurred at the birth of Blanche is what determined her character and attitude towards her whole life. Marquis referred to the lousy omen which had happened to her daughter.

The Irony in the lives of Blanche

The book mainly focuses on the in-depth of religious fear of the novice Blanche de la Force. Despite her tender age, Blanche never trusted the world, and she decided to convert to Christianity at the time when Christians were being murdered. Her family and friends feared for her life being a convert, yet she also feared for the life of the world. It is ironic that Blanche's name depicts the agony and suffering yet trusted the Christianity more than even the sisters whom the majority of their titles reflect the life of Jesus Christ (Gertrud, 1931). It is ironic that Blanche struggled with her fear of the world but hide it to those around her until she came out to talk about it openly. She feared for the life of the world, yet people around her also feared for her life as a Christian.

Her face reflects a single expression of infinite depth. The series of isolated images rapidly floated before her. The prioress seems not to see Blanche's face alone but show fear of the world including the wounded soldier on the battlefield, the criminal at the gallows and little dying birds. Hence, this depicts the victim soul suffering because of Christianity and reflects the Christ agony in Gethsemane. The book also reveals the theme of love and sacrificial of the higher magnitude. For instance, the novice mistress felt Blanche is entirely unsuited to Carmel life. She instead, prays to God to accept her as a sacrifice for Blanche. Gertrud Von Le Fort, a Bavarian convert in 1926 wrote years back before Hitler ascended in power her words in a novel prophetically fulfilled. She said that "the point of departure for my creation was not primarily the Destiney of the sixteen Carmelites of Compiegne but the figure of the young Blanche." According to Gertrude Von le Fort, Blanche never lived, but she received that new life breath from Gertrude's inner spirit.

The Irony of the Lives of Sister Marie

The irony is that Sister Marie unlike Blanche a little girl who was the ferociously fearful girl who had not trusted the world, Sister Marie trusted the world and she feared death for the love of Jesus (Gertrud, 1931). It is also Irony that out of sixteen nuns, Sister Marie is the only one who survived the martyrdom. Her name, for instance, Sister Marie de I 'Incarnation portrays the life of Jesus, she was therefore expected to be holly, trustful and believer in Jesus Christ yet she dints.


Gertrud, V. (1931). The song of the scaffold. Ignatius Press Novels. P. 2-66.

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