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Jasna Šego ; Katolički bogoslovni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 735 Kb


str. 97-124

preuzimanja: 2.172



The paper discusses the topic of religious motifs in six chapters of Vjenceslav Novak’s novel Posljednji Stipančići (The Last Stipančićs). In the first chapter, the symbolism of religious objects in the Stipančićs’ house is discussed. The meaning of the cross is interpreted and the images of saints hanging on the walls of the said house are mentioned. The famous painting Majka Milosti (Mother of Mercy) (the original of which is today preserved at the shrine in Trsat) is described. In the Stipančićs’ house, objects belonging to the Christian cultural and civilizational complex and that reflect Christian symbolism (pain, suffering, temptations, as well as the faith and hope for a better world), which preserve legends and the past, tradition and memories, are in noticeable places. The second chapter of this paper discusses the issue of faith and prayer in Novak’s novel. Although often in repentant prayer (accompanied by fasting), in a humble and obedient approach to God, in everyday practice both the mother Valpurga and daughter Lucija show that they are weak and sinful beings: the mother breaks the eighth commandment (which forbids lying) by encouraging Martin Tintor to write letters to Lucija and the daughter breaks the sixth ("Thou shalt not commit adultery!") by engaging in extramarital sexual love with Alfred, and, by abortion, the fifth commandment ("Thou shalt not kill!"). The third chapter analyses, from the Catholic point of view, the issue of abortion in the novel. By aborting the baby using means sent to her by Alfred, Lucija broke God’s fifth commandment "Thou shalt not kill!" Although Lucia’s case evokes understanding and compassion, and although Alfred is considered as the main moral culprit and instigator of Lucija’s abortion, the fact is (from the point of view of Catholic moral theology) that Lucija killed her child. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, man was created in the image and likeness of God. A man’s life is sacred, and God is the only master of human life. The fourth chapter discusses captivity, suffering, family conflicts and remorse. Valpurga and Lucija live in poverty, loneliness, like captives and sufferers. Unlike the mother who puts up with her difficult life and who submissively accepts her fate, Lucija expresses dissatisfaction, bitterness, disappointment, deep sadness, and the loss of trust in God and in people. Suffering chokes Lucija’s will, strength and hope. Instead of enjoying her youth and health, Lucija faces illness. Instead of the beauty of friendship and companionship, she is condemned to loneliness. She resents her father for locking her up in the house, for allowing her brother everything, and for denying her everything. She often fights with her father, she is unkind and arrogant towards him, but she also regrets her actions (especially when the father falls ill and becomes incapacitated). She resents his mother for giving her false hopes of recovery and for creating some collusion with fake letters. Then she regrets raising her voice at her mother and her own anger. Ante regrets the injustice towards Lucija. According to Christian understanding, every sin is a distancing from God. With repentance, a person shows that they regret what they have done and can redeem themselves for their actions. The fifth chapter speaks of charity (which in Christianity is thought of as an act of mercy, an act of compassion for brothers in need and an act of voluntary giving, an act of love and inner joy, and not the consequence of the desire to free oneself from boredom and burden): in this context, the religious view of charity is examined and the custom of giving charity in Senj in the mid-1930s is noted. It is concluded that a sense for our fellow man in need has been preserved. There is compassion for the declining nobility and the poor, there are those who donate publicly, as well as those who donate in secret. The merciful Christian hand does not allow one’s fellow man to starve to death and seeks to help him (at least to some extent) to preserve human dignity. The sixth chapter provides examples of rhetorical figures in which religious terms and expressions are mentioned. It is obvious that religious associations, notions and phrases are present in everyday communication - in the expressions of wonder, proverbs, rhetorical questions, comparisons, metaphors, euphemisms, hyperbole, etc. In the Conclusion, the basic knowledge of the selected theme is synthesized and the possibility of further research is hinted at. In the paper, the interdisciplinary relationship between literature, religion and theology are realised.

Ključne riječi

religious motifs; suffering; temptation; prayer; abortion

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