Redemption in The Story of B

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Redemption in The Story of B

The Story of B portrays the spirit of revolutionary thinking through several people who originate at opposite ends of culture and discover a common cause which unites them in a single purpose. Concern for the destiny of mankind impels one man to "brace an entire culture". This man, dubbed "B" for blasphemer by the society he seeks to save, devotes his life to the instructing of selected intellectuals to fulfill the redemption of man.

B, a man "bound to be killed"(114), faces rioters to deliver his message of salvation and destiny to a Catholic priest whose superiors sent him to spy on B. Daniel Quinn's reveals his philosophical insight into the future of the world through the explanation of society's history and the revelation of a choice which threatens to bring chaos upon everyone. When Jared Osborne, a Roman Catholic priest encounters B, the revolutionary genius his superiors sent him to intercept, he loses his sense of purpose and becomes entangled in the intellectual drama which surround this rebellious prophet. While continuing his reports to the Church from B's headquarters in Radenau, Germany, Jared discovers an awful truth which forever alters his outlook on the world. In consorting with the man charged by the Church with blasphemy, Osborne risks losing his entire lifestyle by excommunication. Even this punishment cannot dissuade him, for though his loyalty remains with the Church, B's message overrides this standing allegiance with its urgency.

Jared claims this makes him "not a very good priest"(3), but he eventually ceases to care whether or not he can return to his former station in life. This occurs gradually as he uncovers secrets of man's history which disillusion his belief...

... middle of paper ... equally rapid geographical expansion that obliterated all other lifestyles in its path"(248).

B foretells the future of mankind as a grim prospect should we not alter our lifestyle. He predicts that since our planet can only support a limited amount of people, we will soon run out of space and food. This occurs, according to B, because totalitarian agriculture produces a surplus of food, which in turn increases population. The elegance of truth flows through his lessons to show how our culture began on its route to destruction. This journey continued even when we discovered the possibility that our society could survive as a Leaver culture. Fortunately, B's message also provides hope for society. Daniel Quinn suggests that though it may prove difficult, "We don't have to change HUMANKIND in order to survive. We only have to change a single culture."(255)
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