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electric mistthesis - Teddy Hanson Ms Jennifer Gibson...

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Teddy Hanson Ms. Jennifer Gibson French R1A 4/25/10 The Past and its Present Presence The conundrum of influence revealed through the concepts of the past and present, provides many questions for humanity. Charles R. Swindoll, a Christian pastor, revels greatly in the intricacies of the past and present as religion attempts to modernize the events of the past. On the topic of their connection, he once noted, “We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude” (Charles R. Swindoll). This one way path between past and present allows only the past to affect the present, but what if the present could come back to haunt us? In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead , by James Lee Burke, a paradox presents itself through the connection between the present and past in the introduction of confederate ghosts in a modern Louisiana swamp. In particular, there is a Confederate General who lived in the past, but continues to talk to Mr. Dave Robicheaux, a veteran of the Vietnam War, now detective. Dave has experienced terrors during the war and had seen a lynching of a black man during the dark times of Black segregation. After searching many leads for the killers, they find the body Dave had seen in the marsh 30 years earlier of the lynched black man. Mr. Robicheaux eventually discovers an accomplice, local businessman Twinky Lemonye, who has “changed” his life around, but what has been hidden? Through this ghost’s speeches and a search through Louisiana for the killer, James Lee Burke utilizes 1
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Teddy Hanson Ms. Jennifer Gibson French R1A 4/25/10 the fantastic as a medium to compare how a dead general of the past and a living Vietnam veteran of the present confront their history in the present, and how one can fail.
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