Alice Munro's Short Story, "Soon": a Character Analyzation

Topics: Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Religion Pages: 3 (1041 words) Published: February 21, 2012
In Alice Munro’s short story, “Soon”, there are areas for analyzation. The argument between Don the minister and Juliet holds great significance to the insight of Juliet’s character. Juliet gets herself into a huge argument with the minister that she met only moments prior to the bickering. Assumptions made towards one another are an important part of the quarrel. Juliet does not feel that God is in existence and she makes the mistake of bringing her opinion up in the presence of a church leader. Religion-related words and images are very prominent in the short passage. The minister casually begins by asking Juliet “‘What church do you go to in Whale Bay?’”(Munro 19), as if this question is just nonchalant small talk. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, church is defined as “a building for public Christian worship” (“Church”). Don had only just met Juliet when he assumes that she goes to church. He later refers to her as “‘a little presumptuous’” (19), and yet he was the one who had just assumed that she attended church. When Juliet informs Don that she does not in fact go to church he then makes yet another assumption when he says, “Is there not a church of your sort handy?”(19). The way that he says it is an implication that he figures she must want to go to church it is just not accessible for her. The word presumptuous is defined as, “Characterized by presumption in opinion or behaviour; unduly confident or bold; arrogant, forward, impertinent, overweening. Also: usurping”(“Presumptuous”). Both Juliet and Don were very forward with their opinions to each other and held back nothing to accommodate one another’s feelings. To assist the minister’s assumptions he takes it upon himself to inquire about Juliet’s daughter. Don is very interested in how Juliet plans to raise her child. He asks, “‘And [Penelope] has never been christened? You intend to bring her up a heathen?’”(19). A heathen is a term “Applied to persons or races whose religion...
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