Stern Men Themes

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Religion

Protagonist Ruth Thomas in her late teens decides that she is an atheist, because she likes sound of the word. She cannot, however bring herself to tell anyone, not even Pastor Toby Wishnell when he lectures her about the wonderful stories in the Bible and offers a parable intended to warn her against excessive curiosity.

Religion is otherwise relegated to a surprisingly secondary place in Elizabeth Gilbert's Stern Men. In a sense this is surprising, since the novel deals with the difficult lives and tragic deaths of lobster fishers in the raw weather and high seas off the coast of Maine. It is once remarked that lobstermen drown rarely and individually, rather than by the fleet as happens with deep-sea fishermen. The islanders believe the superstition that only one tragedy per year is allowed by some nebulous act of fate, so that once the quota is filled, everyone...

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This section contains 1,552 words
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Buy the Stern Men Study Guide
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