The Rapture Of Canaan Essay Research Paper

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The Rapture Of Canaan Essay, Research Paper Analyze the Regional Aspects In regional novels, using the right tools of language to create a sense of environment is essential, and in The Rapture of Canaan, Sheri Reynolds does this extremely well. While she weaves the story of a young girl growing up in a secluded religious community somewhere in the rural south, Reynolds is forced to describe and create an extremely convincing and obvious surrounding for Ninah and her God-fearing family. With the right combination of language tools, the author would be able to do this. And she does, with a magical potion of regional dialect, the pace of the novel, and the construction of amazingly strong characters. Southern dialect is normally very pronounced, but in this novel, the dialect

has the potential to make or break the story. Reynolds handles it well, by making the characters relatively articulate, for such moderate educations as they received. The Southern expressions and cliches are wonderfully outnumbered by Biblical quotes from Grandpa Herman, and lessons from the church’s own private gospel. Grandpa constantly quotes himself, through his writings in their bible, such as “He who romps through another man’s field and tramples the plants of his labor shall reseed and keep those plants until they bring forth the equal value and shall pay fifty dollars to The Church of Fire and Brimstone as penance.” The bond that his followers feel is made apparent when the members of the community constantly quote him as well. To completely understand the feeling

of togetherness and family that is present in this community, the reader first must understand the sacred vinculum that they feel to both their leader and their church. Through effective dialect, the reader can begin to see the atmosphere that exists in this small and secular region. Reynolds also uses the pace of the novel to mirror the pace of these people’s lives. In a place where one would imagine time would creep by, the days fly by, especially to Ninah, just like the pages of the book do. The Rapture is filled with events and stories that create an extremely fast pace, and as each sentence and paragraph flows into the next the drawn out adolescence of Ninah seems to be over with as soon as it starts, with hundreds of memories, triumphs and tragedies happening along the

way. So, the reader is introduced into a wider spectrum of knowledge into the lives of these people. Finally, Reynolds uses very strong characters to create a sense of the region that this novel takes place in. The beliefs and preaching of Grandpa Herman show the reader outright how he is very different from the average American, even different from most Southerners, who are often believed to be peculiar. And the way that the people of the community believe unconditionally what he says is the kind of behavior that is often found in cults. This shows the extremely secluded and different this community really is. Without question, one would sleep in a dark and wet grave as penance for mild sins. Ninah feels that it is her own private duty to prevent herself from sinning–at least

those sins that Grandpa defines. She goes to great, and outrageously extreme measures to prevent her feelings, which at most times are perfectly normal. But Reynolds makes it clear from the beginning that normality is something that is not known in the Church of Fire and Brimstone. Through great writing and an extremely successful use of the tools of language, specifically those discussed here, Reynolds creates a fantastic regional novel. The reader is drawn in to this particular region, and the many lives of those who are involved there. Without good writing, this story would be a failure because the reader would not be able to grasp the attitudes and feelings of the characters. This is the most important thing in a successful novel–when the reader cries when the characters