The Counterlife - Part 5 Christendom, pages 255-275 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Counterlife.
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Part 5 Christendom, pages 255-275 Summary

Six hours after leaving Henry in Israel, Nathan is at a church in London with Maria and Phoebe for a Christmas service. Maria is pregnant. Also in attendance at the church service are Maria's mother and Maria's two sisters, Sarah and Georgina. After some singing by the congregation, Maria's mother goes to the pulpit and reads some verses from the Bible. Nathan thinks about the story of Maria's parents' unhappy marriage and divorce.

After the service, the congregation shares refreshments and conversation. Many people ask Maria and Nathan about their new home that is being renovated. Nathan is glad that no one asks about his recent trip to Israel. Nathan thinks about what Maria told him about her family. She described her younger sister, Georgina, as shy, but she says that her older sister, Sarah, has a habit of verbally attacking people and repeatedly fails at jobs and relationships. She tells Nathan that the best way to get along with her mother is to praise her furniture, since Maria's mother has published many works on Georgian style decorated homes. This makes Nathan remember his first meeting with Maria's mother. He did as instructed and praised the furniture. Maria's mother was polite enough, but Nathan wondered if all her comments weren't subtle put-downs.

Part 5 Christendom, pages 255-275 Analysis

The narrative again switches to first person with Nathan as the narrator. In this version of the story, the flight from Israel is peaceful, and Nathan passed the time writing letters.

During the church service, Nathan observes that he feels most like a Jew when surrounded by Christians. During the singing of the carols, Nathan thinks how childish Christian notions like virgin birth and resurrection seem when compared to Lippman's politically charged rhetoric about violent struggle.

This section contains 304 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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