This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Jesusville And Catholic Boys: Silent Suffering In The Novel

2363 words - 9 pages

Philip Cioffari, in both works, Jesusville and Catholic Boys, puts forth the idea of the “silent sufferer.” Used in different ways in each of the novels, the “silent sufferer” is characterized by guilt and shame. This discussion looks at Vee in Jesusville, whose character undergoes punishment as a way of being possessed and alleviating the lost and lonely feeling within her and Arthur and Donald in Catholic Boys, who are punished for the guilt of others’ sins. These characters “suffer silently,” each one reinforcing major themes in “their” novels through their punishment.
To begin, the discussion focuses on Vicki’s character in Jesusville. When first introduced to Vicki, Cioffari describes her as having a startling beauty, dressed with a look that seemed to be “a threat to her safety” (Cioffari 14). Shortly into the novel, we see Vicki’s uneasiness and her need for validation—that is a confirmation of self and of the existence of another. Cioffari writes, “With her rigid glaze she seemed almost catatonic. She wanted him there, but it was as if nothing existed but herself and maybe not even that” (Cioffari 21). Vicki realizes her need to be validated; though, she is unaware of how she is to obtain it. Vicki then asks Trace, “Did you ever think when you look at yourself like this in the mirror that what you’re seeing isn’t really you” (Cioffari 22)? She continues, stating, “I’m not Vicki anymore. From now on I want you to call me Vee. Okay” (Cioffari 22)? It is at this point in the novel that Vee becomes aware of her own isolation—to Trace and to others. Her loneliness eats away at her and makes it impossible for her to have a fulfilling relationship. Vicki’s shift into the personage of Vee is her validation of the person that she wants to be—a person that will have to undergo capture in order to be “redeemed.”
As stated previously, Vee’s journey will reiterate key ideas in the novel. This idea of redemption is one such idea. With each character on his or her own “faith journey” each one seeks redemption for lost time and past sins. Vee’s journey can be seen as representative of the other character’s need for validation as well. We see Trace’s need to validate his father’s faith, Dillon’s need to validate the existence of such a divine plant, Father Martin needing to validate his own faith and usefulness, and Jessie Belle’s need to validate the truth of Joshua’s disappearance.
Later in the novel Vee is alone in the room questioning “all things big and small” (Cioffari 53). Cioffari writes, “When she was adrift like this anything could happen, she might let anything happen. And that’s what frightened her most; that the danger awaiting her would be of her own making” (Cioffari 54). This line could be a foreshadowing of her later interlude with Dillon when she allows him to take “possession” of her. Though, it could, and I believe more likely, is an acknowledgement of sin, and the fears of knowing that danger/punishment are the consequences....

Find Another Essay On Jesusville and Catholic Boys: Silent Suffering in the Novel

The Light and Darkness of Suffering Depicted in Sonny's Blues

2439 words - 10 pages this passage, the narrator emphasizes the dark houses as symbols of refuge that contrasts with the unknown hazards that lurk outside on streets of light. Hidden in the safety of their dark homes, the neighborhood boys were better able to cope with those forms of suffering they had already encountered within the familiar walls of their dwellings. It was only when they were tempted by the glow of the streets, and their alluring promises that

The Problem of Suffering in Christianity and Islam

1477 words - 6 pages Christianity, God is wholly good, he does not create evil nor is he evil. It states in Genesis that God created all things in the universe 'and it was good'. So if God is all good, then where does evil come from? The teaching on suffering in Christianity goes back to the beginning when Adam and Eve were created by God. Humans were given the one thing above every other living creature in the universe, and that was the power of free

Jesus and the Role of Sin in the Catholic Church

753 words - 3 pages According to the Catholic Church, every Catholic, through the sacrament of Baptism, "is freed from sin and reborn." Through the first sacrament of baptism and immersion, all individual members of the Catholic Church engage in the act of becoming members of Christ. Baptism enables an adherent of the faith to incorporate into the Church and made sharers in the mission of the Church. ("The Seven Sacraments of the Church ("The Seven Sacraments of

Comparison of Suffering in Job and Virgil's "The Aeneid"

981 words - 4 pages The Meaning of Suffering in Job and The AeneidThroughout Virgil's Aeneid and Job from the Old Testament, great obstacles block the paths of the protagonists. Mental and physical, anguish is placed upon Job and Aeneas. Though both men suffer extreme pain, the extent and content of the tribulations are different.Job's suffering is placed upon him without provocation. Aeneas also believes his "pain [is] so great and unmerited!" (Virgil 2.89

Torment and Suffering in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn

803 words - 4 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is one of the most famous American author of all American literaturary history. The novel is treated as one of the greatest novel in American literary history. In the sotry, Hester, the main character of the novel, is condemned to wear the scarlet letter "A" on her chest as a permanent sign of her sin. The author describes torment suffered by Hester and her partner of the adultery, the minister Arthur

Destiny,Love,and Suffering in the "Aeneid" by Virgil

646 words - 3 pages Destiny, Love and Suffering In The AeneidIn The Aeneid, Aeneas is on a journey to lead his people, the Trojans to a new homeland. Aeneas is a very important character because of his divine parentage. After all, his mother is the goddess Venus and his father's brother is the King of Troy. Aeneas will find his destiny manipulated by the Gods at every turn, costing him much. His own mother is one of the Gods working to make himfulfill his destiny

Suppression and Hence Deterioration in the State of the Catholic

2096 words - 8 pages many people over the centuries. The theme of the essay is suppression and hence deterioration in the state of the Catholic subjects at the hands of their Protestant Landlords and similar conditions pertaining to 1729 in Ireland. These problems were partly due to the Irish Catholics supporting the pretender in Spain who was son of a Catholic Stuart king James II driven out of England by the protestants. Apart from the income disparity the squalor of

The Emergence and Africanization of Catholic Christianity in the Kongo

1425 words - 6 pages The Emergence and Africanization of Catholic Christianity in the Kongo When the nation of Kongo “converted” to Christianity around the turn of the 16th century, the Catholicism that developed over the next century is best understood as primarily a superficial layer added onto Kongolese traditional religion. The kings of Kongo did not try to replace previous beliefs and practices with Christianity, nor did they simply mask their

Internal Conflicts in Master Harold... and the Boys

932 words - 4 pages Most people cannot see reality as it truly is from their eyes. In Athol Fugard’s Master Harold… and the Boys, he shows the apartheid between blacks and whites in South Africa. While some of these white people wanted to end apartheid, other people who lived with apartheid for their whole lives do not see the wrongs with it. These people want change, but do not know that they are the issue which is known as a psychological barrier. In the play

Production Policies in Hollywood and The Catholic Church

1683 words - 7 pages known as the Hays Code. William Hays was the owner of The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. This was set in place to censor films, since many people believed that producers took too much leeway in examining “impure love”. Impure love was love considered immoral by society, and was deemed unacceptable to be portrayed in a beautiful way. Many groups, such as the Catholic Church, considered such movies inappropriate, and

Protestant and Catholic Conflict in the Elizabethan Era

2616 words - 10 pages Catholic conflict during the Elizabethan era boasted numerous accomplishments in the fields of history, art, philosophy, sconce, and literature with a major contribution to humankind. The decades long battle between the Protestants and Catholics began when the Protestant ruler, Elizabeth I became the Queen of England after her Catholic half-sister, Mary I died. Before Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, Mary’s support of the Roman Catholic Church

Similar Essays

Life And Suffering In The Trenches

2914 words - 12 pages living in the trenches, miseries such as water and mud, trench foot, lice, rats, and the stench, rations, and death all encompass life and suffering in the trenches. Soldiers followed a basic routine on normal days. The day began with the stand-to in which soldiers would wake up an hour before dawn and stand on the firing step, rifles in hand, to look out for a predawn attack by the enemy (Feature Articles - Life in the Trenches). Each trench

Suffering In The Oresteia Essay

1007 words - 4 pages In the Greek play, the Oresteia, suffering acts as a vital role in the lives of the main characters. One character, the chorus, discusses suffering at great length. The chorus is made up of old men who were too old to fight against Troy, and who often give the audience an inside view to the actions happening on stage. The chorus sites hubris, the Greek word referring to mortal pride or arrogance, as being the cause of many bad fates. Someone

Suffering In The Novels: Farewell To Manzanar And In Maus

1438 words - 6 pages In the novel Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston and the novel Maus by Art Spiegelman the theme of suffering has a damaging effect on the human spirit. Suffering in both these stories come in different forms such as emotional, physical, and mental. No matter the form, it is still suffering. Food depravation is a method that people use to affect the human spirit in a negative way. In the story Maus by Art

The Silent And The Loud Essay

2243 words - 9 pages . You should be glad that for this mission you will be going back to your home planet Earth. You must be tired of seeing all of these other alien members. He is currently in a chase by police, but he may lose them in a blue Toyota. Neutralize, capture, and leave no trace, do you understand?” Without fear, I jump out of the plane and land on top of an apartment. I spot the blue Toyota and proceed to leap on him. When I land, I receive a text from