Exploring Morality and Faith in Brian Moore's Black Robe

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Exploring Morality and Faith in Brian Moore’s Black Robe

Included within the anthology The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction,1[1] are the works of great Irish authors written from around three hundred years ago, until as recently as the last decade. Since one might expect to find in an anthology such as this only expressions and interpretations of Irish or European places, events or peoples, some included material could be quite surprising in its contrasting content. One such inclusion comes from the novel Black Robe,2[2] by Irish-born author Brian Moore. Leaving Ireland as a young man afforded Moore a chance to see a great deal of the world and in reflection afforded him a great diversity of setting and theme in his writings. And
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Immediately following in this same scene, Laforgue intended saviors arrive: Daniel, the Algonquin leader Chimona with daughter Annuka, his wife and young son. Meaning only to save him from his abandonment and guide him to the Huron camp, they do not know about the present Iroquois and are immediately ambushed. Chimona’s wife is killed and the rest are captured. Laforgue, seeing this all, knows figures that they will all die, yet knows he could keep hiding and live. But Moore writes of the Father’s next thought, “But what is my life in the balance, if, by going forward now, I can confess Daniel, who is in a state of mortal sin, and, God willing, baptize the others before their last end?” (p. 154). This statement, along with Laforgue’s decision to selflessly follow the others into almost certain death, reveals an idea essential to the understanding of Laforgue and of the novel itself. He is a man on a mission, a mission to save souls. At this time he knows he will not make it alone to the Huron camp to baptize save the souls of the ones intended on this journey, so he cannot bring himself to pass up a chance to save the souls of Daniel (who he sees as in a state of sin as a result of his fornication with the Algonquin girl
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