A Fine White Dust Essay Research Paper

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A Fine White Dust Essay, Research Paper Jonathan Chong English- “A Fine White Dust” 11-2-2000 Facets of Religion The novel was very interesting. It caused me to think of many ideas of religion and of the many processes of conversion. The book portrays religion and conversion to religion in many ways. It uses the various characters to show the many different possibilities that you can have in your religion. Pete is a very interesting character. He has some interesting quirks; he first is strangely religious for his young age for no obvious reason. His parents seem to be very nonreligious so a possibility for his disproportionate spirituality is as a reaction to his parents’ lack of religious zeal. “I started simmering inside because they wouldn’t go to church with

me, because they didn’t seem to care about heaven or hell or their boy’s need for religion.” (Page 13) Pete’s impression of the Preacher Man at first before he is swayed by the preacher’s skills seems to be very accurate. He believed the “hitchhiker”, who was actually the Preacher Man, to be a member of the shadier element. Some of the possibilities he thinks of are an axe murderer or some kind of violent criminal. This at the end of the story appears to be the most accurate picture of the Preacher Man. The negative image of the Preacher Man is the most correct of all the impressions that Pete has toward the Preacher Man. Pete finally sees through the Preacher Man’s fake facade. Especially After he has had time to allow the effects of his religious experience to

abate. Pete is the main character of the story; the story is his discovery of a hero and his subsequent betrayal by this his new hero. Pete is an innocent and na?ve character he is easily taken by the powerful preaching about salvation and heaven by the Preacher Man. The Preacher Man shows him religion that is an escape from the horror and pain of hell. (Page 17) It appears that it is mainly a technique of salvation by fear; if you are afraid enough you will convert and be saved from the dangers of hell. This is a very two-dimensional religion it only is about you not about God. (Page 17) A truly loving God would not want his people to be afraid continually of hell. He would want us to be thinking of him and heaven. The book also portrays religion as a drug or vitamin. That taken

yearly will ensure good health and salvation. The townspeople appear on the outside to be converting during this revival series. They are only going though the motions of conversion with out any of it actually occurring. The people would faint and cry out with what they believed was true conversion; but it was only fake conversions so that they would appear as religious in front of their neighbors and friends. This portrayal is a very fake and false type of religion. From my personal experience you cannot be converted in an impulse of emotion. The book also uses Pete’s parents to portray religion as an awful thing. His parents for some reason do not attend church and also try to discourage Pete from attending church also. (Page 31) The book never explains why his parents are

not religious. At first it appears that they are only agnostic not actively against it just disinterested. The reader can infer from the fact that his parents have a secret and will not tell Pete that it is caused by some kind of incident like what happened to Pete. His parents are not very active in dissuading him from attending the revival but they are not happy that he attends his father is very disappointed that he got saved. The reader can infer that the parents were not interested in Pete acquiring any religious beliefs or habits. I believe that his parents also were disaffected by a person very like the Preacher Man and are now turned off from religion because of what happened. It would appear as if the father had been the one to be affected because he is the character