The Old Man And The Sea By Ernest Hemingway Analysis A Sad, But Gentle Death

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A Sad, But Gentle Death

BENEDICTION by Kent Haruf

This book is about the life of an elderly man who was told that he would die of cancer in just a few weeks. From that time the book follows his memories of his life, the stories of his neighbors, and dreams where he sees dead relatives and co-workers.

This is a relaxing book, as the rural town is visited, and the elderly people who surround the protagonist. His style is simple and clear, like Hemingway’s The Ancient Man and the Sea. This book, like Haruf’s previous books, is set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado.

The old man, whom everyone calls Mr. Lewis, owns a grocery store in town. He has spent his entire adult life there and knows many people in the small town, and as he lies in bed, he remembers the events of the worker who robbed him. After being removed, the man committed suicide. The man’s wife blamed Mr. Lewis for the death, although he was not charged with robbery. Instead, he gave her money, paid her rent and supported her until she remarried.

Mr. Lewis thinks of his son, whom he could not accept, and how wrongly he went away, doubtless never to see him again in this life; none of them is forgiving. Her daughter’s husband visits, but there is no reconciliation with his wife or resolution of the conflict with Mr. Lewis. Father is not a progressive man, like the town, they are all lost in the past, their thoughts are stuck in the 1950s. There is humility and friendship and care, but forgiveness is hard to find.

As the story progresses, we see the lives of some people in the town, such as the pastor, who preached to turn the other cheek, but he found that it angered his congregation, because they helped a lot War on Terror (especially revenge). For this minister’s wife it was the last straw, she was tired of her husband’s stupidity, his caution, his religious values, the time he spends with his sheep, and the poverty they are in. an older girl, which ends badly when he loses her. When her mother separates from her religious father and moves to Denver, she is left without a friend in town, bitter, and lonely, with a father she doesn’t love.

A pastor is a preacher who thinks about his stories from the pulpit, but the villagers just want the usual blessings; they want comforting, sweet words, blessings, not fire and brimstone, and certainly not forgiving their enemies. The Reverend had to resign, as he had lost the congregation, but he was called to attend the funeral of Mr. Lewis.

As the dead man deteriorates, not waking up, guests come and sit in the room to pay their last respects. His wife and daughter take care of him, and we watch slowly until his death. He is not always sure if the people in his room are real, or if they are past memories, half-dreams, or spiritual visions. His death is sad, but gentle, which we see from the sky, looking down on the participants.

Blessings is not a sad book, because there are several stories about rural people, their problems, their desires, their failures; and it is not a fun book, but a book that you will probably remember, along with the characters in the customs.

“And in the fall the days got cold and the leaves fell off the trees and in the winter the wind blew from the mountains and out in the plains of Holt County there was a storm at night and a three day storm.”

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