Existentialism In The Poisonwood Bible And The Psychology Of Evil

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Religion is a mask that alters one’s perception of one’s own self. Religion within literature, such as Christianity, is examined and analyzed widely. There is a heavy presence of religion being undermined and attacked for the inconsistencies that occur. Through different mediums of communication, such as books like The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Grendel by John Gardner, TED talks like The Psychology of Evil presented by Philip Zimbardo, and films like Gattaca directed by Andrew Niccol, a message is delivered to the viewer that there are weak points and uncertainties with an organization that practices a religion and the religion itself. Existentialism is the belief that there is no inherent meaning, but humans are free to create…show more content…
The Congo that they arrive in is in turmoil due to political affairs. Within the initial chapters of the book, Orleanna explains the dilemmas and conflictsconflictions between her, Nathan Price, and the Christian denomination he practiced, Southern Baptist: “I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence. I can understand a wrathful God who'd just as soon dangle us all from a hook. And I can understand a tender, unprejudiced Jesus. But I could never quite feature the two of them living in the same house. You wind up walking on eggshells, never knowing which... is at home at the moment”. (Kingsolver…show more content…
This unbalanced family was on a road to jeopardy from the beginning basing their mission with religion and pleasing God in mind. Religion plays as a major driving force for the cynical Nathan Price. His goal was to preach the word of God and turn as many people as possible towards Christianity, but this plan falters due to his own arrogance and corruption. Therefore, Nathan cannot live a meaningful life because of his pursuit to find acceptance from God, which is relatively difficult to figure out. A TED talk about the Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo explains how a good Samaritan or a group of good Samaritans can turn to horrific beings once told there will be no consequences and no means of punishment. This effect can be seen in the character Nathan. There is a saying, “Practice what you preach,” but he fails to do so in a situation that tests his belief, and causes him to basically lose his mind. “‘My advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold and sit on it’” (Gardner 74). John Gardner is hinting at the reader to follow his or her own interest… In other parts of the book, an allusion to the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse can bee seen while Grendel is stuck in the

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