Books and Movies Reviews

Religion in Clays Quilt

Clay Sizemore is an endearing character whose life shows how important
the Pentecostal religion is to so many people of the Appalachians.Early
in the book, the author calls those who don’t attend church on Saturday
night “sinners” (House 17), and this lays the groundwork for the rest of
the book.It shows how important religion is to the people, and how they
use religion as a basis for everything they do in their lives.While the
Church plays an important part in everyone’s life, it does not dominate
their lives.They gamble, smoke, drink, and even carouse a bit, because
they know they will be forgiven.House writes, “Gabe loved to drink, and
he loved to have a big crowd around all the time” (House 25).The Church
is a sanctuary for the people of Fire Creek, and it plays an important part
in their lives – but it does not dominate everything they do.
Unfortunately, it also makes them entirely too wary of strangers who do not
believe what they believe, as Easter’s reaction to newcomer Marguerite
shows “She vowed never to talk to Marguerite again” (House 69).Marguerite
is a Catholic who does not go to church, so she does not fit in the
community, and the women will not accept her.This shows how narrow-minded
they are, and how their religion sometimes gets in the way of their
The Pentecostal religion began in Appalachia, and it is a stern and
serious religion that people hold on to because it makes them feel better
about themselves and the “sins” they may have.Many of the most severe
Pentecostals will not drink, smoke, or listen to music other than church
music, but the religion has relaxed a little all the time.However, Clay
knows he cannot have it both ways, and he cannot continue to go to church
when the ways of the church are so strict.He tells Easter “‘I can’t make
myself believe the way you do.And I won’t be no hypocrite'” (House 116).

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