Light a Penny Candle Themes

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Religion

Religion pervades Maeve Binchy's novel, Light a Penny Candle, particularly the parts set in Catholic Ireland (Free State/Republic). The fictional town of Kilgarret near Dublin is nearly entirely Catholic, the few exceptions being rich and prominent Protestants. The schools are run by the religious, catechism is part of the curriculum, and prayer before classes is normal. The O'Connor family primps Saturday nights for Sunday Mass and even irreligious Sean takes pride in their filing into a pew together.

Into this milieu comes a ten-year-old Protestant from London, a refugee from the bombing during World War II. Elizabeth's schoolmates are curious about her religion, but she knows little more than she had been christened as a baby. Most of the religious debate takes place at the juvenile level, as the girls sort out limbo, purgatory, original sin, and other complex matters. Elizabeth allows them to baptize her four...

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This section contains 1,649 words
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Buy the Light a Penny Candle Study Guide
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