Religion In Hillary Jordan's Mudbound

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Religion: A Cloak for the Wicked and a Beacon of Hope For as long as humanity has been on Earth, people have kept their deities and beliefs close to them in the form of religion. With different religions, there are different gods and tenets that reflect the culture of those who the religion belongs to. Perhaps the most common religion today is Christianity, with over two billion adherents worldwide. It is implicit that the Christianity’s beliefs are, therefore, very relatable to all its followers; it most likely provides all its follower with a spiritual satisfaction, whether its giving people or hope or a purpose on Earth. Likewise, the characters of Hillary Jordan’s Mudbound also look at religion for the satisfaction of their own wants and…show more content…
Though the African American characters cannot stop the racism they face, religion can become the tool they need to rise up and defy racism. When Hap is reluctantly called to give the funeral sermon for Pappy, Jamie remarks of Hap’s service that it’s underlying message was of “iniquity” and overall that the ceremony was “graceless…presided over by an accusatory colored preacher” (Jordan 314). Before moving away, Hap is able to get back at the man who caused all the suffering of his son. He takes a position of power that the racist man would not have wanted him to have, as the man giving him his final “blessings” at his own funeral; he is also able to get back at Pappy’s family, through his words which are “accusatory,” which lets them know that he does not forgive him. The oppressed woman, while under the authority of her husband, is empowering herself with religion on her side too. When Florence finds her husband using the Bible against her, she is able to quote back “And a prudent wife is straight from the Lord…Proverbs 19:14” (Jordan 127). In doing so, she visibly impresses her husband with her knowledge, who remarks, “Woman knows her Scripture, I’ll give her that,” and through that, she finds a status equal to her husband. For any other wife outside of this situation, the proverb still raises the status of a typical wife, in that a “prudent” wife cannot be silenced and has a God-given right to be able to talk back to her husband when she has good intentions and means the best for him. Religion can be seen also motivating the most oppressed characters to fight for empowerment. Perhaps the most oppressed character in the story would be Ronsel, who one would expect is silenced when his tongue is cut out; however, even he claims that he can overcome that “[marching] behind Dr. King down the streets of Atlanta with

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