Standing completely frozen in the 19th century, Belle Isle, an estate that shelters the Grierson family in the novel represents a more traditional, yet tremendously odd, depiction of the familial unit. The household holds Grandmother Grierson, brothers Richard and James, and two African-American servants Johns and Maisie. The presence of these two servants clearly differentiates the residence from the modern day, illustrating a more peculiar, backwards way of thinking. The family chooses to shield themselves from the surrounding undead by pleading pure ignorance. Characters such as the Grandmother and Richard reside in fantasies of the old world, while also ...
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...hooses to overlook the fact that Abraham tried to rape Temple and simply honor the ties of his family. And although under sinful conditions, these bonds are not corrupt. They are true and powerful. The names Abraham and Moses are blatant allusions to the figures of the Old Testament. In the Bible, these two men plant the seeds of civilization. And in a sense, Moses and Abraham are doing the same. Every family in the novel is. The world did not end. Temple comments on this progress saying, “As long as you’re movin, it don’t matter much where you’re goin or what’s chasin you. That’s why they call it progress. It keeps goin of its own accord” (85). The fate of the world is in the hands of the people who remain. Strengthened by the resilient bonds between who is left, the American family becomes the singular hope for progress to continue amongst the surrounding chaos.
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