[percy-l] Percy-L Digest, Vol 96, Issue 4
janetcantor37 at yahoo.com
janetcantor37 at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 10 17:55:19 EDT 2012
No need to be smarmy.
Ruins goes to great lengths to describe the varied beliefs and religious choices of the locals. You meet along the way many goofy characters who justify their specific nuttiness. I love Percy's descriptions of each one. All this is in service to a story which wants the reader to confront his own ideas of religion and good and evil.
Tom's loss of Doris and the story of how he lost her are examples of what has made him adrift. Though it can be read as sad, there is a joke in the new guy that comes along to steal her away. It is the new age "religion" that attracts Doris or distracts her from the loss of their child. So much in Ruins and in other Percy is mocking people's beliefs and how they come by them. It was the way Percy described her leaving that I
remember as written with tongue in cheek. Perhaps my impression is wrong.
Ellen's deliberate lack of religion does not detract from her being just the right one for Tom at the end. Her steadiness is what he needs. And after all the nonsense of the characters and story in Ruins, she represents calm and order. He has found his love in the ruins.
I always love the way Percy ends his books. Be sure when you read Percy to give yourself permission to laugh. He wants to take you on a wild ride and bring you home to predictability. Every one of his novels offers some form of love, of caring for someone else, at the end.
Relax and enjoy the journey.
They are 2 different women. And questions can be dumb.
> hello all,
> I'm a English graduate student at Texas A&M, and i have a question that hopefully can be answered (or at least assuaged) with consensus. In
_Love in the Ruins_ Tom More repeatedly reminisces on his dead wife Doris. we are told that she was a highly principled yet non-religious woman (i believe he refers to her as an ex-episcopalian who found interest in eastern religion). Ellen Oglethorpe, Dr More's secretary and eventual lover, is the referred to in a similar fashion-- a Presbyterian who has "no use" for God, but who adheres to a strict moral code. How then are we to differentiate these women (if we even are to do so), especially in regards to their effect on More? can More's "choosing" of Ellen be a return to a previous state of life--life before the loss of his child--or is there as subtle difference between Doris and Ellen which i am missing?
> thank you in advance for any enlightenment
> Alex Bell
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