There is a noticeable lack of religion in the novel. Was this intentional? Why do you think the author has avoided discussions of religion, which seem to be quite common with death row inmates or individuals close to death?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 04/18/11
I thought the lack of a religious theme in the novel was interesting in that it took the novel to the arena of whether or not you can have morality without religion. The morals in the novel were often questionable regardless of the character, but each character had, (with possible exception of Marlene) I thought, ideals of right and wrong and tried, though didn't often succeed in living up to their individual moral beliefs.
Join Date: 08/07/11
This is one of the most interesting and complex, possibly controversial, questions posted about this novel. Obviously the book is a statement and philosophy about capital punishment, also a complex, controversial issue. Many "religious" people make an assumption that atheists or agnostics or simply undecided people are immoral. If an individual doesn't believe in a god, that does not mean that s/he is evil, that s/he does not have ethics and morality, character, kindness, and love for fellow inhabitants of the earth and tries to do what is right and good. Capital punishment, in a moral sense, is justified religiously by the biblical passage "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." I'm not going to argue about the Bible, but I don't believe it says that we humans have the right or power to extract that justice. And if one does not believe in the Bible, certainly s/he is not going to use it for justification for capital punishment. It seems to me that none of us actually lives up to our individual moral beliefs at all times. I thought perhaps that the author had a specific purpose in leaving out religion from the story. I appreciated that she did omit it whether intentional or not, or whether it was or wasn't, according to her beliefs. Those who do not profess belief in God can and do have strong morals and ethics and believe that capital punishment is wrong. I will say that I have not been and hope never to have someone in my circle of family and friends murdered, but I don't think, based on my beliefs now without the experience, that I would wish for the murderer to be executed just to exact revenge. While I did not particularly like this story for the way it was written, I think it makes really interesting discussion.
Join Date: 10/19/10
I found this question intriguing as I hadn't thought of that aspect at all. So many people of this era are not religious. They are not anti-religion, but follow there own moral compass. Then there are those who just live lives without thought. I would like to ask the author if this was an intentional omission or simply not part of her story.
Join Date: 05/20/13
This is a very good question and food for thought! I hope it was intentional on the author's part because I believe including religious issues in this particular novel would have been a poor choice, a distraction. Thinking about morality outside of conventional religion is challenging and rewarding.
Join Date: 10/19/12
Join Date: 06/10/13
It was just something else that let her down. Knowing her background I doubt that either of her parents were religious people so it probably wasn't something that played a part in her life.
I was glad that it wasn't part of the story. Way too many people use religion for their own purposes to try to either blame it or don't take responsibility for their behavior.
Join Date: 05/20/13
Join Date: 06/17/13
I think the author might have felt that the inclusion of a religious theme would complicate the story. I don't think she thought the characters considered religion to be an aspect of their lives. Maybe the thought never even occurred to the author.
Join Date: 04/14/11
I gave this question a lot of thought..... I don't know if it was intentional. But it brought up a new question in my mind. HOW DO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD GET THROUGH THE ROUGH SPOTS IN LIFE? I could not have made it through the rough spots in my own life if I did not have God by my side. If I did not believe in God, so many things in life would be senseless to me. I am not an every Sunday go to church person, but I am very spiritual and have a very strong belief in God. How do others do it?
Join Date: 06/01/11
No religion, but I think Noa is very spiritual. She was tremendously flawed but so are all humans. She was real. She faced life head on and did not live in delusion or denial. From early childhood she was more caretaker than cared for. She certainly loved others more than anyone loved her. She was betrayed by her loved ones. She was the only character strong enough to resist Marlene. She resisted passively and it cost her her life. I see her as a symbol of great spiritual leaders whom have done the same in very different circumstances. I think it was brilliant of the author to tell a spiritual tale with such rough characters and seedy plot development. True spiritually is about death row and real gritty life as much or more than butterflies and rainbows.
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