Confusion At Its Best

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As I read Mark Twain's short story, "Luck," I was intrigued by the character of the Reverend.  If I knew the Reverend in real life, and he had told me his history with the Lieutenant-General, I would be completely baffled and untrusting of the clergyman.  Everything he did for Scoresby was contradictory to what is expected of a Reverend.  However, I think that duplicity is what makes him a good character to read about and analyze.  If he were just the typical minister, with no inner conflict, he wouldn't be half as interesting.  His underlying struggle with what he, society, and God thinks of him makes him seem like a normal human being, one who makes mistakes, unlike the sense one gets in church when listening to a minister's sermon.  I was impressed by Twain's ability to characterize the clergyman as such a controversial being in such a short piece of fiction, in a way that leaves the reader unsure of her feelings regarding the minister. 

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Aja Hannah said:

Well everything he did for Scoresby was before he became a clergyman and we also do not have the same connection the narrator has to the clergyman. Perhaps the narrator knows more about this man than we know, knows enough or had an experience that makes him able to fully trust whatever the clergyman tells him.

That's true, Aja. However, the fact that the clergyman hasn't spoken of his actions at all until this point makes me question him. Did he become a clergyman because of his faith in God, or was it because he thought of that occupation as a way to redeem himself in some way, to make him feel less guilty?

Brooke Kuehn said:

In my opinion, the clergyman hasn't changed at all since his military days. He was jealous of Scoresby then and as he shares his story years later, he is still just as jealous. He claims to have joined Scoresby in war because he wanted to help him; however, he probably just wanted to see Scoresby fail. If he wanted Scoresby to succeed then he wouldn't be speaking negatively of Scoresby's success.

The majesty of Twain's writing is portrayed in the manner in which the Reverend's inner torment is portrayed and at times suggested yet does not alienate him from the readers.

Exactly. I walk away from the story confused about my feelings for the Reverend, yet I'm still drawn to him somehow. Thank you for your comment!

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