The Opposition Bible is a book about the reactions that can be made with the burden of collective guilt; to be specific, to our complicit guilt as citizens of the United States for the misconduct by our nation in the Congo. The Opposition Bible is an allusion of an event that triggers the life of a family to be burden with guilt in the Congo. The title of the book is what describes the whole book. The Opposition Bible Is an Increased prosecution of Western colonialism and post-colonialism, an expose f cultural arrogance and self-indulgence.
Section II: Author The author of the Opposition Bible is Barbara Kingfisher. The Opposition Bible is a departure from Kingfisher’s previous fictional novels, not only in moving politics and to the foreground, but also in its setting. Kingfisher’s actually spent two years in the Republic of Congo while her parents served as health care officials. Her life in the Congo represents a theme that finds a prominent place in the Opposition Bible. Kingfisher actually spent her two years in the Congo at the same time as the characters In the book. Around the sass’s.
While Kingfisher spent time in the Congo the united States had secretly sabotaged the Confess shot at Independence’s by putting together a coup that resulted in the death of the elected President Patrice Lumbar. Infuriated by what she considered an overwhelming act; motivated by greed, Kingfisher then formed the ideas to write a novel exposing and dealing with this crime. It wasn’t until thirty years later that she finally felt ready, emotionally and professionally, to take on the project of discovering the question of how we can call ourselves united States Citizens, and still deal with our involvement in these rarefying events.
Kingfisher worked long and hard to make the book reveal the truth about what happened because she was dedicated to what she felt was right. Section Ill: setting The book took place primarily in the Belgian Congo, which later became Zaire during the story. Certain segments took place in Atlanta and Sundering Island, Georgia, and certain others in the Johannesburg, South Africa and the French Congo. The time period In which the story Is laid out Is between 1959-1998. The work was written between 1993-1998, though some of the ideas that formed the book came from the mime Kingfisher spent in the Congo.
The setting actually coincides with the Authors time in the Congo which makes it so significant, Kingfisher experience the life of living In a foreign Just Like the characters In the book. Though how their time was spent was completely different. The stung Is connected to the thematic concerns because the setting is how the theme was brought about. The characters experienced “The impossibility of absolute and unambiguous justice on a global scale and a transfer of faith from God to the natural world” which displays the themes of the book.
Though without the places in which the book was laid out, these themes couldn’t have taken place. The setting and theme definitely play big rolls in the book 1 OFF The major conflicts in the story can be told on two different levels. Both levels regard how one should react in the burden of guilt, but on a more personal level the guilt that must be dealt through all the events that lead to Ruth Mays death. On the broader level, the women also felt the strong need to handle with the collective western guilt that originates from the crimes of the colonial and post- colonial era.
After arriving in the Congo, decisions to remain in the Congo in the face of the mortal threat that Independence brings. The longer they stayed the more challenges that would arise. All this brought out a growing bitterness toward the Prices by the villages leaders, which erupted in the sentiments over the issues of Leash’s participation in the hunt. This in return resulted in the death of the youngest Price daughter, Ruth May. After the tragic accident, Orleans and her remaining daughters deserted Nathan in sight of redemption from their two levels of collective sin.
The imagining daughters moved on with their lives, Lea turned toward a life if political idealism and cultivated suffering while being married to Anatoly. Dada turned her life toward science where she became an epidemiologist. Rachel life was marked by an egoistic and single-minded pursuit of her own pleasures. Orleans become paralyzed in her guilt. Section V: Point Of View The story is approached by each of the narrators that speak in first person, which gives us a view of the story from their point of view.
The point of view affects how understand the work because it gives a clear understanding of the times that went n as each character experienced each situation. The point of view from the character to the theme is all based on what each character faced while in the Congo and how their story was told. Section VI: Characterization There is not a single protagonist in The Opposition Bible. The story is told in multiple voices giving each characters perspective on experiences and events. The women are equally important as each tells a story of learning life a completely new life in the Congo.
The characters are removed from their comfort zones and put in a place where no single individual, is any part of their race. Salvation takes on a different meaning from the father point of view; while he loses, each woman makes the decision of finding a way to save herself. The antagonist of the story is Nathan Price, the father, preacher and husband. After the death of the Price families’ youngest daughter, Nathan moves into the background, while each woman deals with their own individual demon. Orleans struggles with the guilt of letting her family be taken in to the Congo in the first place.
For the three remaining daughters, Rachel battles with Jealously and poor self-image, Dada fights with the image of herself, engine it as a defective and identification of personal responsibility. Though for Lea the demon is the political crisis of the Congo and her own white skin that sets her apart. Section VI’: Theme The first theme represented in the book is “The sin of Western arrogance”. The Opposition Bible is an infected prosecution of Western colonialism and post- colonialism that exposed the cultural as arrogance and greed.
Nathan Price served as the personal embodiment of Western hubris, unhesitating in his missionary fanaticism to overturn the ancient traditions of the Congo and replace them with his win religious beliefs. Yet nearly all of the non-African characters are marked by this however, that exercised its cultural arrogance most hazardously, feeling authorized to assassinate a foreign nation’s president and change him with its own mannequin ruler. The next theme shown in the book is “A transfer of faith from God to the natural world”.
Given that cultural self-importance is represented as the countless sin of the West and old-fashioned forms of Christianity, though it is not surprising to find the belief being presented as the spiritual antidote. It’s the idea that the entire trial world is inspired as a certain respect and modesty in anyone who believes it. It speaks against the attitude that Western thoughts apply to both the natural world and to the human beings who dwell in it. The last theme is “The individuality of redemption”.
Kingfisher actually chooses to have the story told by five separate narrators. This gave each narrator a different answer to the question, “how should we live with the burden of guilt,” covering the range of Orleans complete paralysis to Earache’s calm refusal to even accept the burden. Then there is Lea, who responds tit political involvement?that is, with an active attempt to right the wrongs in the world. Dada on the other hand responds scientifically, with an attempt to understand the world on its most fundamental level.
Even Ruth May, whose death is the cause of the more individual level of guilt felt by these four women, represents a point of a wide variety of guilt with an all-accepting spirituality. Even all these responses together aren’t meant to consume the possible reactions one might take toward guilt. Section VIII: Symbols & Literary Devices -Antenna’s demonstration in the garden is symbolic because of its biblical reference. Gardens, in particular the Garden of Eden, play a prominent role in Christian tradition.
It is in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve where the first man and women, ate from the Tree of Knowledge which then set the future of all generations of human being with original sin. There is a clear irony in comparison to Adam and Eve and Nathan. First, Adam and Eve sin by truth and knowledge that is not planned for them. Nathan, on the other hand, sins through his willful ignorance, and his refusal to learn anything about the culture around him. -In the first paragraph of The Opposition Bible it gives us many literary device, the first one being personification.
The personification is “forest eats itself and lives forever”, this quote helping give an understanding of what life in the Congo will be like for the Price family. The next thing shown is an Alliteration, which is “brindled bark,” and “belly on branch”. These two alliterations help the reading understand the different parts of the Congo almost as if they were there. Section ‘X: Quotes 1. Page 9- “Maybe I’ll even confess the truth, that I rode in with the horsemen and beheld the apocalypse, but still I’ll insist I was only a captive witness. What is the conqueror’s wife if not a conquest herself”?
This quote appears in Orleans opening remarks, and immediately introduces to us the dominant theme in The Opposition Bible; the attempt to deal with guilt. Orleans guilt is double what the rest of the characters experienced. There is the paralyzing guilt that she feels over the death of her youngest daughter, and also the overwhelming guilt she suffered because of the crimes committed by the United States against the natives of Congo. When she refers to herself by the “conqueror’s wife”, Orleans places herself in an individual position with the guilt she is feeling.
She isn’t the primary perpetrator of his crimes. The true perpetrator of the first crime is her husband, Nathan, who placed the entire family in mortal danger. The perpetrator of the second crime is the United States; invoking the dependency, responsibility, and even loyalty that a citizen bears to his or her nation. 2. Page 297- “The smiling bald man with the grandfather face has another face”. Dada makes this comment when she discovers that the President of the United States is planning to overthrow the elected government of the Congo and kill its President.
This is significant because these words are spoken by Dada, this captures the growing disillusion with father figures that Orleans and Lea experience firsthand. 3. Page 528-“Len the world, the carrying capacity for humans is limited. History holds all things in the balance, including large hopes and short lives. ” Dad’s take on the notion of Justice, absolute Justice, at least the rough sort of Justice that Westerners believe in that is impossible. Some think, for example, that it is unjust that in Africa young babies die of malnutrition and disease.
To be correct about this injustice, we send over doctors to feed and protect them. Though, Dada, undermines the result of this good deed is simply death of a different sort. Overpopulation leads to food shortage and further disease. We cannot change the things of the world that we consider sad and wrong. Rather than despair over this state of concerns, Dada actually stands in awe of it. She finds herself being more passionate for the humans than any others in this global game of survival. Actually, it’s Just for the survival of the vast and the balancing game itself.
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