Kilanga Short Story

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1. Told from the perspective of the Reverend Nathan Price’s three daughters and his wife, their experience as missionaries in Kilanga, the Belgian Congo is recounted. The tribulations they must face throughout, along with the repercussions that will last for the rest of their lives is seen. Fanatically religious, Nathan Price rules as the head of the Price family not with a soft heart but with an iron fist. The world of Africa is so different compared to their hometown in Georgia that it becomes increasingly hard to adjust and merely survive every day in the either scolding heat or rain drenched muddiness. In the midst of extreme famine and disease-infested country, Reverend Price makes it his duty to baptize as many of the natives as possible, even if it costs his family their lives. He becomes increasingly obsessed with the idea and slowly loses his sanity in the process. After the tragic death of the youngest daughter, Ruth May, Orleanna finally rounds up her family and leaves. Although Rachel and Leah choose to remain in Africa, and aim to get married to their “fiancee’s”. Only Adah and Orleanna return to Georgia. What follows is the telling of the rest of their lives into adulthood and the differing paths they each have all taken as a result of the Congo having altered their lives forever. In an attempt at redemption for the death of Ruth May, all the women suffer from guilt and look for every opportunity to repent for their guilt. 2. Nathan Price- An extremely devote Baptist preacher that has taken it upon himself to baptize all the people of Kilanga. A fanatic, and somewhat crazy, he essentially sacrifices his family and puts the word of the bible over his sanity. After he was traumatized in world war 2 as a soldier, he... ... middle of paper ... ...in the way of her closely sheltered religious upbringing. Leah is constantly unforgiving of herself, blaming the little ups and downs on her religious faith and the work of her almighty God. In the vastly uneducated Congo, it is natural for the people to view every instance as an act of God. Yet, as Anatole reveals God has nothing to do with the Congo, as he believes the Congo lays outside of God’s jurisdiction and urges Leah to see it in a different light than her father’s, the only view she has ever known. Through this explanation Leah is able to determine and eventually choose which reasoning she is agrees with. The simplicity of “life happens” is demonstrated in Anatole’s words and as she grows older Leah regards them as a new religion, one in which she can identify with and passes as transition into leaving behind the teachings of the reverend.

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