Jesus Saves Notes - Jesus Saves Darcy Steinke Southern...

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Jesus Saves Darcy Steinke Southern Capitulation—written in the Southern Gothic tradition. Walker Percy argued that in the early 70’s, southern literature was preoccupied with race…that is no longer the case. “The south had become American, no better, no worse.” Modern day tradition of the Southern Gothic literature deals with depravity, sacredness, the Christian condition, dealing with our own fallibility, recognizing the demon that is within the self, suffering as a consequence of our delusions, and attempting to gloss over deep, dark mysteries that tend to be dealt with in a very superfluous kind of way—which always gets us in trouble. Who is saved and what is salvation? The mere fact that we get this southern suburb without a name or a state it is rich in gothic religious sensibility and the teenage world of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and abductions. What is causing 14-year old blondes to be abducted every week? Is it simply horrible guys or is there something in the culture. Ginger, the daughter of a widowed Lutheran minister and Sandy (who needs to be read very carefully) that has been abducted from her summer camp. The narratives alternate between both girls—we here the story of each girl. Does one have to be sacrificed in order for the other to live? Can they both survive? Throughout Jesus Saves , Steinke is intent not only on sketching out the lives of the two main characters, she also wants to expose the community that the characters have grown up in—the surreal landscape of strip malls, fast food restaurants, modern technology (cell phones) and deserted parking lots and make them into a gothic and timeless place—but also a world where little girls disappear and hippies announce that Jesus has turned into a redneck. Description of the people in the parish—Steinke is engaging the myth of the suburbs. The suburbs used to be considered perfect after WWII, but it’s not perfect…but there is the undercurrent of dirt—not everything happens in the urban areas, it also happens in the suburbs— even more so—you get everything here, in the suburbs. - “Mrs. Hofner, who told everyone her husband died of a heart attack, had actually nudged an electric radio into his hot bath; or the Koenigs, whose eldest son hung himself in the backyard wearing his sister’s prom dress and the Robertson newlyweds, who got involved with cocaine and kinky sex and were still in a detox center in West Virginia. Then there were the more mundane confessions, the loneliness of the older members, the disappointments of middle-aged ones. Sometimes her father saw people in his home office and Ginger would put her ear to the door, listen to a woman
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complain about her wayward husband and a mother tell how she’d forced her teenage daughter onto the pill.” There is this secularization and commercialization where televangelism which is seen as entertainment (you can have as much fun as you want) is replacing the traditional religion that responds to the spirit. One of the main central conflicts – Ginger’s father, the traditional Lutheran minister, who wants
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course ENGL 3354 taught by Professor Hogue during the Spring '06 term at University of Houston.

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Jesus Saves Notes - Jesus Saves Darcy Steinke Southern...

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