Saints At The River Analysis

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The Interconnectedness of Loss

Losing someone is inevitable. Because of that inevitability, people find it hard to move on and forgive. Because of that inevitability, conflicts rise and when comfort and unity is needed, it is not there. Because of that inevitability, people are influenced to do things, whether negative or positive, to ease the pain that they know they have to endure. Just like this, Saints at the River is also conflicted in a similar way. The characters in the novel experience losses which connects them and influences their actions: Luke with the Tamassee, Allen and Herb, and Maggie who experience loss, but unlike the others.
The characters confronts different losses from each other, but the losses play the same task of
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Rather than connecting with the Tamassee because of their similar loss, they are connected by their portrayal in the story. The Tamassee is seen as a terrible character for taking lives of many people such as Ruth and Randy. It can also be considered as the overseer of Luke, who blocks the way of Herb Kowalsky from approving the building of the dam. In the novel, Herb holds irritation towards Luke because of his determination in protecting the Tamassee. Because of his irritation, he does not see the mastermind of which Luke is serving. Even though the river is bad, it ends up giving back the bodies of Randy and Ruth back to their loved ones, showing some morality in its character. Luke’s action is influenced by the Tamassee and both can be seen as the antagonist of the story. Allen Hemphill and Herb Kowalsky are connected in the book because of their similar experience of losing their daughter. Kowalsky’s action are influenced by his loss of Ruth to the river. Because Allen knows how it feels to lose a daughter, he is influenced to build the dam and supports Herb. “”That man’s lost his daughter,” Allen said. “He just want to get her out of the river, for God’s sake.”” (Rash 58) Allen and Kowalsky is similar because of their loss of their daughters, but also because of the influence the death of Ruth had on their
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