St. Francisville Research Paper

440 Words2 Pages

Struggles with family relations. Bullying. Inconformity. All of these are reasons that, at the early age of 16, Rod Dreher, the author of The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, left his home in St. Francisville to pursue his own aspirations, to escape his tormented childhood. However, years later, after having built up a life outside of Starhill, Rod moves back to his old hometown; this happens not because the town, the people, or the social order changed in any manor, but because Rod developed a new perspective on the entirety of that which was St. Francisville, Louisiana. The community of St. Francisville really did little to change during Rod’s almost thirty-year absence. As seen in the text, Rod recounts, “I knew St. Francisville’s shortcomings. There is poverty. There is brokenness. There is drunkenness, and there are drugs. There is meanness, and conformity, and a lack of professional opportunity. Of all the things that made me run from this place nearly three decades ago, most of them remain (p.210).” Rod reveals that, in all …show more content…

Through Ruthie’s life and death, Rod turns to viewing St. Francisville through an entirely new lense. In the book, he relates, “But Ruthie transfigured this town in my eyes. Her suffering and death made me see the good that I couldn’t see before. The same communal bonds that appeared to me as chains all those years ago had become my Louisiana family’s lifelines. What I once saw through the melodramatic eyes of a teenager as prison bars were in fact the pillars that held my family up when it had no strength to stand (p.210).” Through Ruthie’s kindness, her perseverance in the face of death, her steadfast love despite, Rod was able to witness the community come alive. In that dire time of need, the people of St. Francisville rose up, offering their love, gratitude, and care to Ruthie, her family, and her friends. Such a display caused Rod to finally understand just what community

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