Gilead | Study Guide

Marilynne Robinson

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Gilead | Section 13 | Summary



John wrestles with whether he should warn Lila about Jack. He prays about it, but he also engages in intellectual exercises in which he argues with himself about making the decision. He dreads telling her, but he also feels it is his responsibility to do so.


Like Sections 6 and 9, this section is only one page long. Robinson is again putting emphasis on how much Jack's return weighs on John's mind. When he asks himself what it is he fears the most, he admits he does not like the thought of dying and leaving Lila and his son "in the sway of a man of extremely questionable character." He then has to ask himself why he suspects Jack's contact with them will be "considerable enough to be damaging to them." He does not answer until the next section, but when he does, he realizes he suspects Jack intends to take his place when he dies.

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