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This story expresses a question often presented to people of Christian faith: Would you risk your loved one for complete strangers? Pastors often preach that one should love others as their God did; allowing his own son to be killed so that others could be saved from sin.

The main characters of this passage show how one might question this rhetoric and how one might accept it wholeheartedly. Frances, the sister of the main character, questions it by saying,

I don’t care if the Almighty poked a gun in my ear, I would never do that. Not in a million years. Neither would you. Honest, now, little brother, would you grind me up if I was the one down in the mill, would you push the Francesburger button?” (Wolff 642)

Due to being abused by their father, Frances feels as though Frank telling her a sermon about risking your own family for others is a slap to the face. She protected him from their father’s violent outbursts and would do anything for him. She would even risk her mariage. The fact that Frank believes what she did is selfish grates on her nerves and makes her feel as though he isn’t even remotely appreciative of the shelter she provided from being abused. In response to her anger, Frank says:

Don’t put me to the test, Frances. It’s not your place.” (Wolff 642)

After the type of life Frank had, he is most likely trying to make sense of it by finding comfort in religion. He wants to believe God has a reason for everything that happens and that there’s a plan. Like all people who have lived through painful lives filled with regret, Frank wants an answer.



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