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Melissa_W
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DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5

Please use this thread for discussion of Chapters 3 through 5 of Death Comes for the Archbishop.  Please also mark a SPOILER WARNING if your thoughts reveal plot points from later in the novel.
Melissa W.
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Fozzie
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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5

Father Latour asked the Senora to tell him frankly whether she thought he could put a stop to the extravagances of the Penitential Brotherhood.  She smiled and shook her head.  "I often say to my husband, I hope you will not try to do that.  It would only set the people against you.  The old people have need of their old customs:  and the young ones will go with the times."    (near the end of Chapter 1 of Book Five, Padre Martinez)

 

This quote emphasized the difficulty of the task the two priests had in trying to convert people and bring their practices in line with the Catholic teachings.  It was a process that had to go slowly and respect local customs. 

 

Laura

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WinterLady
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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5

These priests do have their work cut out for them, between navigating the desert terrain and dealing with rough characters.   I think Father Latour and Father Vaillant are interesting characters in the way they travel through their territory almost more like observers than missionaries.   They are persistent in trying to establish the authority of the Church but smart not to allienate the natives.  

 

However, Latour is also very spiritual.  I like what he says on page 50:

 "The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon the faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always." 

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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5


WinterLady wrote:

However, Latour is also very spiritual.  I like what he says on page 50:

 "The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon the faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always." 


I marked that quote also.  It is very profound, one to remember daily.

Laura

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Marcie95
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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5 / almost like observers


WinterLady wrote:

These priests do have their work cut out for them, between navigating the desert terrain and dealing with rough characters.   I think Father Latour and Father Vaillant are interesting characters in the way they travel through their territory almost more like observers than missionaries.   They are persistent in trying to establish the authority of the Church but smart not to allienate the natives.  

 

However, Latour is also very spiritual.  I like what he says on page 50:

 "The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon the faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always." 


 

That was the same impression that I got, that in their approach toward the local people the 2 missionaries were very careful - Father Latour, especially.   Father Vaillant could be a bit sly and agressive, couldn't he?

 

This reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible.   It is the story of a Protestant missionary who goes to the Congo; a very interesting read.

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Peppermill
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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5 / almost like observers


Marcie95 wrote (excerpt):

 

This reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible.   It is the story of a Protestant missionary who goes to the Congo; a very interesting read.


I find, however, these two priests far more sympathic as characters and missionaries and humans than I did the protagonist in Kingsolver's  

The Poisonwood Bible. But, it has been a number of years across which to be making a comparison.
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WinterLady
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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5

I read the Poisonwood Bible a long time ago too, and I agree that, from what I remember, the Minister in the story was not a sympathetic character.  But yes, what both novels have in common is that they show the challenges and obstacles that missionaries face.   How the characters interact with each of their respective environments in both of these novels, I think, makes for an interesting contrast. 

 

I just finished DCFTA and the more I read the more sympathetic I became to Father Latour and Father Vaillant.   At the beginning of the novel I felt that the characters were not that developed - maybe because of Cather's writting style.  But as the novel progresses it's the opposite -  we really get to know both priests.   

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Choisya
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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5

Yes, I seem to remember the P.Bible as an anti-missionary novel whereas this is a pro-missionary one. 

 

The more I read DCFTA, the more sympathetic I became to the plight of homosexuals at that time because I felt the priests loved each other but, of course, were unable to 'come out'.   Perhaps something Cather herself felt and was expressing?  Sad:smileysad:.      

 

 

 

 


WinterLady wrote:

I read the Poisonwood Bible a long time ago too, and I agree that, from what I remember, the Minister in the story was not a sympathetic character.  But yes, what both novels have in common is that they show the challenges and obstacles that missionaries face.   How the characters interact with each of their respective environments in both of these novels, I think, makes for an interesting contrast. 

 

I just finished DCFTA and the more I read the more sympathetic I became to Father Latour and Father Vaillant.   At the beginning of the novel I felt that the characters were not that developed - maybe because of Cather's writting style.  But as the novel progresses it's the opposite -  we really get to know both priests.   


 

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Peppermill
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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5

 Does this article on "Couriers Of The 1680 Pueblo Revolt" relate to the cave in Book IV, Chapter 1, "The Night at Pecos"?

 

 


"Since the Spanish had permanently settled among them in the 1590s and built their chain of missions, the Indians of these city-states had seen their lifeways disrupted and their religion defiled. Twenty years before the conspiracy was hatched at Taos, a Franciscan priest boasted of burning 1600 kachina masks. Five years before speaking to the runners, Po'pay was among forty-seven religious men who were publicly flogged in the Santa Fe plaza."

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Choisya
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Re: DCFTA: Week 2, Chapters 3-5

[ Edited ]

This piece about the Pueblo Revolt cites a different paragraph but yours may well be another. Taos was the village where the revolt started.

 

A map and some pictures here.   And a photo of Willa Cather with the Santa Fe Cathedral in the background.

 

 

 

 


Peppermill wrote:
 Does this article on "Couriers Of The 1680 Pueblo Revolt" relate to the cave in Book IV, Chapter 1, "The Night at Pecos"?

 

 


"Since the Spanish had permanently settled among them in the 1590s and built their chain of missions, the Indians of these city-states had seen their lifeways disrupted and their religion defiled. Twenty years before the conspiracy was hatched at Taos, a Franciscan priest boasted of burning 1600 kachina masks. Five years before speaking to the runners, Po'pay was among forty-seven religious men who were publicly flogged in the Santa Fe plaza."


 

Message Edited by Choisya on 03-23-2009 06:52 PM