elmer gantry

988 Words2 Pages

Elmer Gantry, the Terwillinger College president and a star football player, is continually enticed by many temptations including girls, alcohol and cigarettes. One day, when he travels with his friend Jim Lefferts to a near-by town, he drunkenly stands up for Eddie Fislinger, the Y.M.C.A. president, and his religious preaching. Inspired by the statements made by Elmer that defend religion; Eddie incessantly attempts to persuade Elmer to convert.

When Judson Roberts, a former college football star, arrives at Elmer’s town, he is converted by the belief that it takes a strong man to accept Jesus and have eternal glory and life. Later on, Elmer and Frank Shallard, a fellow student at Mizpah Seminary, are called to be preacher and assistant at the church in Schoenheim. There, Elmer has a relationship with Lulu Bains, whom he is expected to marry. Elmer devises a scheme that he executes perfectly to make sure that this marriage does not take place. Elmer goes on with his training in the ministry and is presently assigned another church for the Easter service.

On the way there, he meets a man who lives by his temptations. Foolishly, Elmer agrees to a rendezvous with the man and his friends from the Pequot Farm Implement Company. Elmer is unsuccessful in his attempt to hold off the enticement of alcohol during this tryst and is worse for the encounter. Elmer fails to show up for the Easter service and is replaced with another preacher who is assigned to find Elmer’s whereabouts. Upon finding Elmer drunk at a café telling of his exploits, the pastor reports back to Dean Trosper. Elmer is subsequently fired from Mizpah and is taken on by the Pequot Farm Implement Company.

In his travels, he encounters Sharon Falconer, a traveling evangelist. He immediately falls in love with her, along with her lilted voice, enthusiastic mind and focused nature. She contributed to the fact that Elmer was now virtuous and free of his temptations. Her life is full of falsities although she preaches about the erroneous ways of lying. Her real name is Katie Jonas and has stolen many of her sermons from other people and places.

As the traveling group of evangelists, musicians and the choir continually reduced expenses, Sharon saved up for a permanent base in which she could preach. She finally bought a pier on the New Jersey coast and decided on an opening night.

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