Literary Analysis on the Book of Job

3072 Words13 Pages
Jonathan M. Reiland
5th Period
Mr. Nabors
English 4206 [ 11 November 2010 ]
The Book of Job: An Examination Of all of the stories, fables, proverbs, and histories of the Bible, The Book of Job is one of the most compelling due to its unique literary style and the complex treatment of the issue of suffering. Unlike other books of the Bible, The Book of Job details a conflict between man and God within a poetic structure, and is the only book in the Bible to take on the problem of suffering as its main purpose. Throughout the book, Job pleads to God for all of the misfortunes that have befallen him. This type of discourse found in Job cannot be found anywhere else in scripture. Upon examination of the roles of protagonist and
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Job’s friends believe God to be totally just and would only bring his wrath upon someone who incurred it. If this is true, the description of Job in the beginning of the book must be inaccurate. “The only logical explanation was that Job must not have been as righteous as he claimed” (Johnson 393). Can the argument be made that Job’s friends believe that he is arrogant and his audacity to question the divine is what prompts God’s punishment for his sins or is Job being made to suffer unjustly? God’s answer in chapters thirty-eight through thirty-nine takes the form of a series of questions to Job meant to display God’s power and mastery over all creation. When Satan is viewed as the protagonist then the will of the supernatural realm supersedes the will of the corporeal realm, it then follows that Job should not challenge the actions of Satan and should submit to the will of the heavens. Whenever Job complains about the suffering he is meant to endure he is actively working against the progression of the narrative, and by doing so becomes the antagonist of the plot. It is now Job’s purpose to work against Satan and ultimately God in order to maintain this alignment of characters. When Job is considered to be the protagonist then the plot of the story should be working towards accomplishing Job’s goals. If Job’s goals and ultimate purpose in life is to demonstrate undying devotion to God, then Satan’s

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