Every Woman Is A Novel :A Jest Of God

1618 words - 6 pages

Rachel often addresses her thoughts to God. How does she imagine Him (Her or It)? Does Rachel's concept of God change during the course of the Novel? Explain.Rachel Cameron, the heroine of "A Jest of God", is not simply as an individual literary character but as a psychological portrayal of women of Rachel's time and inclination. Even we can easily find someone who has the same problem Rachel has in the friends of us, or maybe in an early morning when we get up; stand at front of the mirror; we will suddenly have a idea, "I am Rachel too." She has a common Cameron heritage. She is a gawky, introverted spinster schoolteacher who has returned home to Manawaka from university in Winnipeg, upon the death of her alcoholic undertaker father Niall Cameron, to care for her hypochondriac mother May. Nevertheless, the family resemblance is obvious: their shared Scots Presbyterian ancestry, which Laurence views as distinctively Canadian, provides an armour of pride that imprisons her within their internal worlds, while providing a defence against the external world. To overcome that barrier between personalities, she must learn to understand and accept their heritage in order to liberate her own identities and free herself for the future. She must also learn to love herself before she can love others. Rachel receive a sentimental education through a brief love affair: as a result of learning to empathize with their lovers, she learn to love herself and the people she lives with. Laurence's emphasis is, as always, on the importance of love in the sense of compassion, as each of her solipsistic protagonists develops from claustrophobia to community.The beginning of "A Jest of God" extends beyond its Canadian perimeters in Rachel's branching imagination, both into the fairytale dream world which gives depth and pathos to the disappointment and despair of her present and out into a wider world in time and space than the grey little town of Manawaka. The first lines of the novel tell us everything basic to Rachel's mind, her temperament, and her situation.The wind blows low, the wind blows high The snow comes falling from the sky, Rachel Cameron says she'll die For the want of the golden city.She is handsome, she is pretty, She is the queen of the golden city.They are not actually chanting my name, of course, I only hear it that way from where I am watching the classroom window, because I remember myself skipping rope to that song when I was about the age of the little girls out there now. Twenty-seven years ago... (p. 1) The reader is engaged in sympathy with Rachel by the sadness of the gap between her dream-self, "Queen of the Golden City," and her reality, shut in behind her classroom window, looking out and worrying about becoming an eccentric spinster, that stereotyped butt of cruel laughter. But we are also engaged by the range and the quality of Rachel's imagination -- and it is this, continuing through the book, that holds our sympathy, our interest,...

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