Closed For Friday Prayer Analysis

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“God, one o 'clock in the afternoon...why is it closed?”1 On a hot afternoon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon realized she wanted a snack and more specifically, she wanted some yogurt. Hoping for some relief to this craving, Donlon stopped at a local shop, Atcha Bakery. However, as she nears the door she spots a sign: "closed for Friday prayer". Jocelyn Donlon doesn 't yet understand or care to know why this sign exists, she is just miffed that she cannot purchase her snack. Although a seemingly mundane event, Donlon 's trip to the bakery demonstrated how ignorance can be fostered by a sheltered worldview. However, as Donlon began to experience other cultures, a newfound point of view arose. This change occurred from the…show more content…
From an early age, Donlon felt very close to the rest of the members of her family, most likely because they were all each other had. This closeness led to the synthesis of Jocelyn Donlon’s personality, an almost equal mix of her father, Louis, and her mother, Marie. Although Marie Hazelwood was a preacher’s wife and “a woman of great religious conviction”, she never truly fit into what was expected of her.4 As stated in an article by The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, preacher’s wives must meet many expectations such as “remember[ing] you are being observed, be[ing] discreet, be[ing] ready for unspoken expectations, and be[ing] careful of friendships”.5 Donlon’s mother clearly did not follow these guidelines, whether it the way in which her mother attracted her father by being the only member of the congregation to not vote him in or her mother being the first woman to wear pants to church, the preacher’s wife stereotype did not limit Marie Hazelwood. In comparison to Marie’s mouthy and fiery persona, Donlon’s father appeared on the opposite end of the outspoken spectrum. Louis Hazelwood, being a scholar, was much more reserved and thoughtful and at sometimes would even be embarrassed by Marie’s behavior. Louis even remained reserved when it came to the most controversial of matters: church politics. Louis Hazelwood accepted his ousting from a congregation in Baton Rouge due to the fact that he stuck with his belief of separation of church and state. Although Donlon’s
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This relationship, unlike her relationship with the church, almost was an act of rebellion. Donlon describes her initial impression of her future spouse by saying,“Jon was a long haired hippy atheist. At the time that he proposed to me, he was working for the city of Lafayette picking up dead animals on the street.”9 Donlon knew that the relationship between Jon and herself was different from the very beginning, telling her sister that “[she] wouldn’t have a very traditional life, but [she]’d have a life of adventure”.10 Not only did Donlon find someone game for adventure, but she also found a partner who matched her ambivalence to gender roles, saying “I’ve always felt a range of feminine and masculine traits...and Jon has a very strong fluid gender identity as well”.11 Neither of them ever placed gender norms upon each other, such as Donlon never requiring Jon to be her “meal ticket”, allowing both of them to follow their passions when it came to the job market. This freedom and fluidity in her relationship led Jocelyn to the most perspective-altering experiences she would ever have: her trips
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