Essay on Life Grace By Lee Smith

Essay on Life Grace By Lee Smith

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Throughout Saving Grace by Lee Smith, there is a focus on religion, as well as how a character would act regardless of their faith. This can be seen especially in the character of Lamar Shepherd. The transformation regarding religion lacks results regarding a change in action. This can be seen in the short time he has presence within the novel, though his actions left their mark on the Shepherd family. The value of Lamar’s religion or place in religion can be explored by his actions, especially his actions towards others. Each action taken by Lamar while in the Shepherd residence can be explored regarding a specific section in the bible.
Upon arriving at the Shepherd’s tiny, backwoods home, Lamar introduced himself to his sisters. He made it a point to mention the fact that the sisters knew nothing of their father’s life prior to the relationship with their mother, Fannie. Though he made this point, Lamar also mentioned that he was unaware of many things regarding his father, except that there were more siblings with Virgil’s first wife. Before the arrival of Grace’s parents, Lamar said, “it don’t matter what you do neither”, this quote encompasses Lamar’s outlook on life, regarding his actions outside of religion as well (LS 72).
“Excellent speech becomes not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince,” a quote from Proverbs 17:7, encompasses one of Lamar’s first sins upon entering the book. This can be seen when asked his name by Virgil Shepherd. Lamar tells Virgil that he has heard his name in Tennessee and has come to see what can be offered to him, via trade. Virgil accepted his offer and invited him to Zionville the following day. Once being asked his name, the response was “Lamar Dickens”. Grace Shepherd’s internal respo...


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...but also unwilling to learn (LS 83).
Overall, Lamar had qualities that were unbecoming of a Christian, relating to a value mentioned in Harriet Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, concerning the actions of Mrs. Flint. The relation is that Mrs. Flint was seen as a good, Christian woman while her personal values did not actually reflect the lessons of the church (HJ 261-277). The presence of Lamar within the Shepherd household created a lasting impression on the characters involved. This is due to the rights and wrongs committed by Lamar against himself and the family. The actions taken by Lamar has a corresponding verse in the bible, which can determine the religious rights and wrongs of each. The display of sinful actions also demonstrates the importance, or lack of, religion in his everyday life, regardless of being an anointed member of Virgil’s church.

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