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Garrison Keillor's The Prodigal Son Vs. Luke's The Parable Of The Prodigal Son

951 words - 4 pages

Garrison Keillor's The Prodigal Son vs. Luke's The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The classic story of the Prodigal Son is one of the best known parables in literature. A parable is often times described as a short narrative which teaches a moral; however, the plot is more realistic, than say a fable, and the characters are humans as oppose to animals or natural forces within nature. Parables are also presented in a more suggestive tone, which leaves them more open to interpretation. The play Prodigal Son told by Garrison Keillor differs greatly in terms of style compared to Lukes The Parable of the Prodigal Son told in the Catholic scriptures. Both of these parables convey the same moral, however, both are open to very different interpretation. This option for different interpretations when referring to this story truly exemplifies what a parable is meant to be. Keillor took the classic story of the Prodigal Son, told in the writings of Luke, and was able to transform it into a comedic piece of literature, in which people of the times could better relate to.

It is argued that Keillors version is disrespectful to the original parable; however, I disagree with that for many reasons. Understanding the true definition f a parable itself assists in the supporting of Keillors style and technique. The parable story the Prodigal Son told by Keillor is much more dramatic, by which he was able to establish more tone within each character. He did that by writing the parable in a script form, which was intended to be acted out for an audience. That was not the case with thte biblical story, where it was told in third person perspective. Keillors version of unveiling the moral though the characters first person dialog allowed the audience a better understanding of the characters personalities. Keillor was able to distinguish each character through lines of dialog. This style merely added to the parable itself. One could argue that since the personalities in Keillors version were more developed, it left less room for ones own interpretation. Because the personalities of the characters were more distinct, it also alllwed for more focus on the actual plot and the building moral. Since the moral is the true point to a parable, it would be pointless for an audience or reader to be stuck on the their curiosity of the type of people the characters were supposed to represent. More detail, merely aids in the strength of a parables narrative qualities. A major difference that I noted when reading and comparing the two parables was the usage of language. That writing style of the parables truly affected my interpretation of the moral. Keillor took a much more modern approach to the language that the characters conversed with. He also utilized more symbolism in the...

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