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Black River
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Why does Wes feel as he does about religion and his spirituality?

Created: 01/13/16

Replies: 3

Posted Jan. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bethb

Join Date: 04/08/13

Posts: 20

Why does Wes feel as he does about religion and his spirituality?

Why does Wes feel as he does about religion and his spirituality? What hints do we get about this?


Posted Jan. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyd

Join Date: 05/31/15

Posts: 30

RE: Why does Wes feel as he does about religion and his spirituality?

I think Wes has a very simple view of religion: God should help those in crisis when they pray to Him. And punish those doing evil. But it's not that simple. If, in fact, Bobby's conversion was real, then the torture led to the conversion and had a broader meaning. Wes didn't see that just putting food on the table and a roof over his Dennis's head wasn't enough to be a father and he was failing and damaging him.


Posted Jan. 27, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Mary J

Join Date: 04/26/15

Posts: 37

RE: Why does Wes feel as he does about religion and his spirituality?

Wes had a faith, but it was very simple. Because of his upbringing (he had been raised in a home with a prison guard as a father), and his need that was felt to hide his emotions, he was not able to grow in his faith. By accepting Bobby's conversion, it may have opened his life to grow in ways he had never imagined.


Posted Feb. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 164

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RE: Why does Wes feel as he does about religion and his spirituality?

I see his yearning for faith and his effort to find it in his religion as an expression of his yearning for connection with his own father, his struggle to understand his father's suicide, and his resulting confusion about the nature of God. It is ultimately an experience of God, not a religious conviction, that he is looking for, I think. He comes closest to that when he plays the fiddle his father made for him, and feels at one with his audience, whether it is Claire or the crowds at the Harvest festival every year. And, it seems, when he plays his own song, every time a bit differently, as an expression of his search for God. When he is tortured, and forced to pray -- when he can't play his song for his dying wife -- those moments are powerful in revealing just how estranged he is from that experience of God that he seeks.

Wes has to open up his spirit to the possibility of transformation, letting go of his anger that God is not a "guy in the sky" who punishes the villains and rewards the good guys. God is not a corrections officer! Wes has to let go of that image of God from his childhood and his church, but he doesn't know where else, or how else, to look. Wes isn't ready to forgive, as he makes clear to the minister. For that to happen, he has to feel that transformation within himself, experience God for himself, and he can't turn to music to help him.

That's what I think happens when he faces Williams and not without a struggle, ultimately chooses to accept Williams's conversion at face value, and walk away. Wes is really choosing the kind of person he wants to be, the kind who will live with the possibility and hope that what is broken can be healed. Including his own troubled spirit. He is moving toward a more mature understanding of faith, I think.


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