How do the people of Brownsburg manage to keep their sympathies with Charlie Beale even if their church prohibits them from doing so? What was the role of the church in society in those days?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 04/11/12
Join Date: 04/18/12
Join Date: 06/19/12
The church was the social center of the community, as well as the source of moral guidance - the rules by which the community lived and the standards for good and bad behavior. Charlie fell into some interesting cracks - he exhibited both acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. this left other members of the community in a quandry: which set of rules was more important?
Join Date: 08/23/11
It was an unfortunate time and in the rural southern countryside the life of the church was the life of the people and the ministers had great control over their populace. This was an isolated community which was so carefully brought out in Goolrick's descriptions. These were also people of limited education and background of experience so they knew only to believe what the ministers preached. It was a pleasant surprise to see how Goolrick showed the townspeople expressing their real feelings at Charlie's grave.
Join Date: 10/12/11
Join Date: 05/16/12
I agree with Lynne. I too was pleasantly surprised to see the people of Brownsburg kind of work around the church in showing their support for Charlie. I suppose the church served to set down some kind of moral guidelines for everyone to follow. It was interesting that Sam's mom persuades Charlie to some kind of church--any church so he can integrate better into the community.
Join Date: 06/18/11
Goolrick's book describes the "white" church as a place with lectures about hell and an emphasis on punishment, whereas the "black" church emphasized salvation and used positive reinforcement. The authority of the priest or pastor in a small community is huge. even today, I suspect. It was gratifying to see how people honored Charlie's grave anyway.
Join Date: 06/19/12
Join Date: 06/27/12
While townspeople were clearly expected to attend church, I found it rather upsetting that the "white" church lectures were so much about sin and punishment. This was not a place to go for solace, and I was very sad when Charlie was damned as a sinner. I loved the fact that the townspeople honored his grave, even if they had to sneak out at night to do so.
Join Date: 04/22/11
This was the one " part" of the book that really haunted me. I had so much trouble with the hypocritical viewpoints of the townspeople (both the black and the white) and the power of the "white" church.
The white hypocrisy is so sickening - I agree it was touching that they honored his grave, but what good did it do? They should have shown this compassion before the tragedy. Isn't that what Jesus preached (the Church at this time was supposed to be the New Testement, not the Old Testment of wrath and brimstone)If this had happened, Charlie, Sylvan and possibly Charlie's brother would not have died. As for the black townspeople, I know society placed pressure on them, but we are, even to this day afraid to stand up to societal norms even when we know deep down the norms are not right. They could have let Charlie find a home in their Church. Once again things might have been different.
I also find an interesting parallel to the religion in " a land more kind than home" by Wiley Cash and the tragedy caused there. The hypocritical nature of religion in that novel plays out similarly for me.
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