‘Evangeline: The Tale of Acadie’ was one of the best works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This epic poem was about an Acadian woman and her lost love.
Written in dactylic hexameter, this piece of sheer genius survived many calamities, including literary revolutions.
It is one of the very few works written in a style like this, that has managed to hold it’s placed in history.
The idea that finally shaped this poem had come from one of Longfellow’s friends, Nathaniel Hawthorne. ‘Evangeline’ gives a vivid description of the Acadian history and the situation at that point in time.
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Although criticized for the choice of the style, it is one of the works that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is known for.
It has a touch of Greek and Latin classics, most probably, inspired by the books that he was translating at that point in time.
The Plot of Evangeline: The Tale of an Acadie
Evangeline Bellefontaine was an Acadian woman who was betrothed to her beloved, Gabriel Lajeunesse. Their families, Benedict Bellefontaine, the father of the beautiful lady and Basil, that of the lucky man, decide to get them married.
Just when everything seemed perfect and their fairytale love life on the verge of turning into a reality, Tragedy touches them with her cold fingers.
In the middle of their wedding feast, the British soldiers announce the orders of King George. All the Acadians were required to give up their belongings.
In this hullabaloo, the new bride loses her husband and her father dies. For almost the rest of her life, her mission is to find her lost love.
She follows his trail, sometimes reaching very close to him but not quite. She doesn’t give up and keep looking till one day she decides to give up and move on with her life.
She decides to spend the rest of her life tending to the sick and the poor. Thus, she starts working at a charity, Sisters of Mercy, at Philadelphia.
Critical Analysis of Evangeline: The Tale of an Acadie
One day, while tending to the victims of an epidemic, she comes across Gabriel lying down in front of her. She recognizes him and he just manages to utter her name before losing his breaths to Death.
A wonderful poem, no doubt, it manages to tear a reader apart. The struggle of a woman all throughout her life and the cruel joke that Life finally plays on the couple is too much to fathom and inhale.
Evangéline a Tale of Acadie
The frustration of Evangeline at the end of it all is probably a million times more than the overwhelming frustration the reader feels. One wants to reach and embrace Evangeline as if to sympathize with her but her feelings are hardly comprehensive.
Maybe that is why this piece is considered as one of the masterpieces of Longfellow. This poem can mess with your emotions in a heartbeat.