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Analysis of Ron Rash's "Saints at the River"

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Analysis of Ron Rash's "Saints at the River"

  • October 2008
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Ron Rash’s book, Saints at the River, there was some acts of betrayal. These instances of betrayal contribute to the meaning of the text as a whole. The meaning of the text is the conflict between the Kowalsky`s and the people of Oconee county. The acts of betrayal show who some of the characters really are and bring out the theme of this book. The two themes focused in the text are moving beyond the past and people will always face consequences. When Luke and Maggie were dating, he made her believe things about that river and how it was sacred. Maggie betrays Luke when she decides that Ruth’s body should be brought out of the river. Maggie’s father left her and her brother alone one day when they were younger. Maggie grew a strong dislike for her father when Ben suffered major burns while he was gone. Her father had to deal with the consequences for a while. After the towns controversy over how Ruth’s body would be taken out of the river, Maggie finally decides to forgive her father after all these years. The town betrays the river rats and the law when they allow a temporary damn to be put in to stop water from flowing so they can get her body out. When the dam fails the first time, the town does not let a second attempt to happen out of fear that another life would be lost. After the death of his twin brother, Ronny betrays the Sherriff and throws dynamite into the river to get the bodies out of the hydraulic. Betrayal is a big part of what makes up this story. Each instance contributes to the meaning and themes of the text. Two major themes are moving beyond the past and people will always have to face their consequences. Maggie puts the past behind her when she decides to forgive her father after all these years. Her father faces his consequences of leaving his kids alone by having Maggie dislike him because of her brother getting burned. When a person betrays another person, whether it is friends or family, there are consequences. The acts of...