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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 5 page paper that discusses two books: The Surrounded by D'Arcy McNickle and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson. The discussion uses one excerpt from each story to demonstrate the irony of each story. In each case, the protagonist believes certain actions will bring about a better life but the results are the exact opposite of what they expected. Bibliography lists 2 sources.
5 pages (~225 words per page)
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will lead to a happier life, change out lot in life or lead to some other wonderful result only to find that what happens is the exact opposite of what
we expected. Psychologists know that it nothing external can really change how we feel about ourselves, peace, happiness and so on comes from within us. The protagonists in each of
these books learned that that hard way, by putting all their hopes in something outside themselves. It is the irony of life. This essay uses one excerpt from each of
two books to illustrate the irony of life, how placing belief in one thing as the thing that will save them actually DArcy McNickles The Surrounded pits the rituals
and beliefs of the Catholic Church against the rituals and beliefs of the Salish natives on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Archilde Leone and his mother both lose their faith.
As an adult, Archilde returns to the church, which is now abandoned; he studies the statues, the paintings and even the dust, all of which had replaced the Salish peoples
own ceremonies. While looking at the picture of Christ driving the money changers from the temple, a bat flies out from the frame. Archilde says: "One had only to go
into daylight to realize how preposterous such things were" (McNickle, 1935, p. 106). But the people did not step out of the dark into the daylight when he was
a child. He and his people tried to believe that the Church would keep its promises of light and grace but that was not true. They placed their hopes and
dreams in this religious, giving up their own rites, beliefs and ceremonies but their new beliefs led only to the destruction of the peoples culture. What the Church gave them