Religion in the Fictional Town of Cold Sassy Essay

Religion in the Fictional Town of Cold Sassy Essay

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Throughout centuries, humans have expressed different perspectives toward a single idea. The subject of religion invites challenging discussions from skeptical minds because religion is diversely interpreted based on personal faith. The authoress sets her novel in a fictional town, Cold Sassy, where religion plays a predominant role in people’s lives. Through Will Tweedy’s narration she explores the religious opinions of the town’s most prominent citizen Rucker Blakeslee, Will’s grandpa. Although Blakeslee spent his whole life in a religiously conservative town, he has a radical approach toward religious concepts such as predestination, suicide, funerals, faith, and God’s will, thus forcing him to challenge the traditional views of organized religion.
Granted that according to Will, the Southern Presbyterians believe that “what is to be is to be,” this belief on predestination becomes evident when Cretia and Looly, a covey of Presbyterian ladies, visit Will after his survival in the train- trestle incident and begin to express their predestination, saying that God spared Will because it was not his time to die, and it was God’s will that this boy should be alive. This expression makes Will puzzle with a question: is he alive because of God’s will? When he puts forth this question to his Grandpa, Rucker Blakeslee, Rucker replies Will that God gave him a brain that he could use wisely; therefore, he lied down betwixt the tracks to save himself. Eager to know more about predestination and God’s will, Will further asks his Grandpa whether it was God’s will that Bluford Jackson should die of Tetanus. On hearing Will’s question, Rucker explains that Bluford’s carelessness while bursting crackers was not God’s fault in anywa...


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... up in Hell for committing suicide, he replied that many people in the world have committed worse sins that God needs to attend to. He also conceded that Camp was not hateful or evil as those people. So, his lecture concludes saying that God would not refuse Camp into heaven because he unhappily chose suicide as an unavoidable option. (334)
In all the above religious concepts, Grandpa has always contradicted his views with the organized religion of Cold Sassy. Grandpa’s reason for this contradiction is that Grandpa likes to hear about the loving, caring and forgiving God, instead of hearing about a threatening Lord from the preachers in his town. He also discloses to Miss Love that the only reason he went to church was to please his first wife, Miss Mattie Lou. This disclosure means that Grandpa did not ever agree with the traditional beliefs of his town.

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