Finding Peace in Death Comes For The Archbishop Essay

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Finding Peace in Death Comes For The Archbishop

Willa Cather's Death Comes For The Archbishop is a novel set in the nineteenth century in New Mexico. The story follows the adventures of Father Vaillant and Father Latour, two refined French priests on a mission to promote Catholicism in Santa Fe. The story follows each man's experiences in these unrefined surroundings causing them to go through dramatic changes as they experience the westward movement of the frontier. Through the struggles and journeys of a host of characters, we discover the underlying tensions of worldly distractions that can create a divided character between oneself.

The first example of a divided character I would like to discuss
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I will now go on to Trinidad, Father Martinez's "nephew" who also exhibits a divided character, lustful and gluttonous, as well as having himself crucified and scourged during Passion Week. When he ate dinner, he ate as if he were "afraid of never seeing food again. When his attention left his plate for a moment, it was fixed in the same greedy way upon the girl who served the table...with careless contempt"(145). Trinidad seems to have such an ugly personality, but at the same time he carries out his religious duties, to the extreme. It is as if one makes up for the other, contradicting Catholicism. Padre Martinez, who also tends to acts upon rules of his own, has taught Trinidad literal religion, not spiritual religion. Trinidad seems to think repeated sins can easily be forgiven, acting more to please those around him instead of God. Trinidad's character of sin and solitude seems to be allowing him to get the best of both worlds, when he should just be content with one.

To show the contrast of a single character and a divided character, I would like to discuss Eusabio. Eusabio exhibits a sincere "one-sided" character, devoted to his beliefs and actions of serenity. While Eusabio was accompanying Latour on his journey, he revealed acts of native Indian "respect." Latour observed how "it was the Indians way to pass and leave no trace, like a
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