An American Requiem Themes

James P. Carroll
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James and his father have three areas of contention and conflict they cannot resolve; Roman Catholicism, civil rights and the Vietnam War. The child and young adult James is a devoted son and tries to follow in his father's footsteps by becoming either a priest or Air Force officer. He comes to a compromise by choosing to become an Air Force chaplain. Later reflection reveals he enters the seminary to please his parents and perhaps mitigate the Irish Catholic curse of Joseph's spoiled priesthood.

During James' youth, seminary attendance and priesthood, three popes with diverse points of view lead the Roman Catholic Church. Ironically James' attempt to please his father and mother by becoming a priest displeases them from their mutual deference to three consecutive popes with conflicting teachings. Pius XII is a stiff traditionalist that denies personal conscience and sees WWI and II the...

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This section contains 1,500 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the An American Requiem Study Guide
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