10-27-2008 09:49 AM
What internal struggles drive Rosa's journey toward faith and Audrey and Joel's rejection of it, respectively, and how are both informed by the time periods in which they developed?
In what ways does Rosa's struggle to follow the tenets of Orthodox Judaism parallel Audrey and Joel's strict adherence to political dogma? What aspects of Rosa's upbringing put her in conflict with the culture and beliefs of Orthodox Judaism?
What does being Jewish mean to other characters in The Believers? What is the significance of Audrey's choice of venue for Joel's memorial?
10-30-2008 01:43 PM
Religion does have an impact on this story. I was amazed at first with Rosa's coming into her Jewishness. She was raised with no religion, and now she wants the most orthodox Judaism out there. It is hard for her, but I don't think she ever looks for the easy road. She took socialism to the extreme when she tried to embrace that - by going to Cuba. I am trying to remember if it wasn't actually illeagal for Americans to go to Cuba during that time. I was curious as to how she got in and out of the country. I also noticed that she gradually grew away from socialism as she saw it didn't work. I expected her to gradually go away for Judaism for the same reason, but it seems she is headed to Israel. Rosa is actually a rebel at heart.
10-30-2008 02:42 PM
I agree that Rosa is a rebel at heart. I think she is investigating religion because of her parents lack of religion in their own lives. I agree that I think she will move from the jewish faith to other religious ideas, but she is not there yet.
11-11-2008 10:11 AM
11-11-2008 12:13 PM
11-11-2008 12:20 PM
Perhaps a more superficial question here, but I'm curious nonetheless: I was surprised each time Joel or Audrey swore, "Christ!" or "Jesus Christ!" etc. It hasn't occured to me to swear using the names of holy men from other religions, so what prompts them -- is it purely American culture?
In my experience, atheist Jews do tend to use Christian blasphemies. There may be someone out there saying "Yahweh damn you", but I've yet to meet him or her.