An Analysis Of Earl Lovelace's Wine Of Astonishment

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Martin Luther King Jr. gave a sermon on February 4, 1968 entitled “Drum Major Instinct.” In the sermon, he inspired his congregation “to seek greatness, but to do so through service and love” (King Encyclopedia). King recognizes the human instinct to be in front of others and to lead them in the so-called parade. When this drum major instinct takes over, the excitement of leadership can distort personalities. The leader of the parade must be leading the band to victory rather than embracing the victory as glory. In Earl Lovelace’s novel Wine of Astonishment, Ivan Morton and Bolo both desire to be leaders for change, but their personalities become distorted in the process; thus the characters actions become unjust. As the narrator Eva introduces Ivan Morton, he is presented as a “man to save the people” (Earl Lovelace 10). Ivan Morton is an up and coming politician in the remote town of Bonasse. The community of Bonasse looks to Ivan as their savior; he who can bring justice to their religion. Eva and her community of the Baptist Faith believed…show more content…
Bolo rejected the political system of oppressing the Baptist Faith. He decided to become a leader in spite of Ivan Morton’s inability to fight for his people. Taking into account Bolo’s profession of fighting, it is fair to assume that Bolo was a somewhat belligerent man before he decided to take on a leadership position. That being said, his belligerence only strengthened as he went about seeking equality for his church. Justice denied reinforced Bolo’s desire to be a leader to ensure that his religion would be seen as equal to the Catholics and Anglicans. Bolo, the rebel that he is, believed that to reach the lawfulness he had to do so unjustly; he decided he was “going to break the law” (Lovelace 50). If putting Ivan on the Legislative Court was not working, he decided he should break the law rather than rely on it patiently to
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