Professor Muriel Lange
16 February 2011
Maggie life Experience
For centuries mankind has always had a negative view of homosexuality and the main reason why is because of religion. In the Foundations of the earth written by Randall Kenan, a woman begins to question her religious views and values. Kenan's story talks about the days of older southern black women who views had suddenly changed. I believe that in Kenan's story he is making implicit claim. That religion and culture shouldn't cloud a person view. I agree with the claim Kenan is trying to make.
The foundations of the earth is about an elderly southern black women named Maggie MacGowan Williams. Her grandson Edward who she care for and loved plenty has suddenly passed away. She found out from his half sister Clarissa that had an interracial relationship for years. This shocks her, because her christian upbringing made view homosexual as a sin. She meets her grandson's lover Gabriel and is reluctant to meet him. Later in the story her views change about gays and she begins to develop a relationship with Gabriel. Her experiences with Gabriel, changes her views on people and religion.
In the foundations of the earth the main antagonist is Reverend Hezekiah Barden. He is large and self centered religious figure in Maggie community. He has a strict interception of the bible and likes to put his viewpoint on other people. He was extremely bothered by the fact that a local farmer name Morton was farming on a Sunday. From this fact, he disapproves of homosexuality. Maggie does not challenges the Reverend behavior and also quivers from his signs of affections towards her.
Most christian churches believe that homosexuality is a sin. When I was growing up, my family did not discuss anything about homosexuals. It was not until I was ten years old when I met a real life homosexual. He was a student in my class and when I meet him, I know something was different about him. He was extremely feminine and like to befriend other female classmates. He was a Catholic and public about being a homosexual, it would take me years to see this. I think that he did not have a dispute with being a homosexual and his faith, because I heard talk about his experience at church. I guess to him his faith and sexuality do not have to be in a struggle.
Gabriel is a gay white male and was Edward boyfriend. He is polite and funny and wants to have a relationship with Maggie. Gabriel does not go to church that often and does not have a firm view on religion. He did not see anything wrong with Mr. Henry working on the Sabbath. Gabriel is openly gay and thinks his lifestyle is perfectly normal. Gabriel in the story supports the author claim that "".
Henrietta Fuchee is an elderly black woman and is a member of Maggie church. She likes to pretend to be principal Christian women in front of people, especially Reverend Barden. In addition, she probably views homosexuals as unholy. She has a desire for Barden and will probably support his views about homosexuals.
Maggie leases some of her land to a man name Morton Henry. The author does not say whither he is a religious man or not. He works on the Sabbath because he must. His wife is ill and he has five kids to support and feed.
In the Foundations of the Earth the main character is Maggie MacGowan Williams. She is
a widower and leases her land to others for income. She is active member of church and community. Her grandson's death was very traumatic event for her. She spend a lot of time and give him a lot of love. She had high hopes in him and believed that he wouldn't be a disappoint me like his dad.
When she learns that Edward is gay, she was flabbergast. She know him for most of his life and had no idea that he was gay. Also the story progress she is becomes takes issue with the fact he didn't tell her. She felt entitled to this knowledge and because of that she feels that maybe Edward didn't trust her. Maggie faith and belief also change. When she had a dream, she argued with a voice she believed was god. She has a lot of death in family in her family but moves on, but Edward death was different to her. It was probably unsuspected or all those deaths final took there toll on her.
In Christianity the argument against homosexual comes from genesis. Genesis is the story of creation in the bible. In the bible god created two humans, Adam and Eve. Some Christians look at this and claim that god didn't intend for humans to have same sex relationships. Also if god approved of homosexual he would of allowed gays to reproduce.
Another part of the bible that is against homosexual is Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable" (Leviticus 18:22) . "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads " (Leviticus 20:13). Both both of these passages can be found in the old testament and they strongly condom same sex relationships.
There are few passages in the bible that condom homosexual, and these passages can be ignored. Today Christians ignore many parts of the bible that goes that to extreme to follow. For example in the bible Leviticus 19:19, god forbids people from wearing cloth that's mix with wool and linen. Most Christians ignore this because it's impractical or they don't take it serious. Most christian have decide which parts of the bible they believe or not. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 advocates stoning of disobedient children. There are examples in the bible that support slavery, war, women abuse and fascism. However today's Christians morals are different, they ignore the passages in the bible that are morally objectionable. They know it's wrong and choose to ignore them because it not what the bible is all about. It is kind of hypercritical that Christians don't ignore passages about homosexual like they do with others.
There a lot of Evangelic preachers in the south. They have a Fundamental view on the bible and believe that bible has an aspect in out everyday life. They wanted laws that supported views and publicly present their beliefs. For example, Barden publicly confronts a man because he's working on Sunday.
At the end of the story the Maggie said "she would have to begin again to learn" (Kenan 160). I think Maggie is realizing that there are still things she doesn't understand. Her experience with Gabriel and reverend Barden had a big impact on her life. She has grown up seeing the world one day to now at seventy years old seeing that view shattered. Her faith also changed, she has accepted Gabriel and her son for being gay. Contrast that with a few months her, she has also become more understanding and at peace with herself. Dispirit Barden and Henrietta objections to Morton working on the Sunday, she understood his situation and allow to containing working.
Kenan, Randall. "The Foundations of the Earth."
Reading Literature and Writing Argument. Ed. Missy James and Alan Merickel. 3rd ed. Upper addle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008. 152-63. Print.
The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version.
Philadelphia: Westminster, 1952.
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