Causes and Consequences of Rebellion: "Mercy Among the Children" by David Adams Richards

Essay by car1car2High School, 11th gradeB, September 2006

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In modern world, few people follow Christ's philosophy of non-violence. In fact, most people follow the philosophy of revenge and payback. The reason for people not following the philosophy of non-violence lies in its difficulty and the belief that people will take advantages of them. In the novel of "Mercy Among the Children" by David Adams Richards. The author uses the devices of point of view, narrative structure and characterization to explain the narrator and the main character Lyle's struggle to accept a philosophy of non-violence and the society forces to loose his innocence. The story traces his journey from loss of innocence to his redemption.

The story is in the first person, given from Lyle Henderson's perspective. From Lyle's point of view, the reader can feel how Lyle's emotions and feelings change due to the struggle of living a life according to the philosophy of non-violence.

Lyle, at the beginning of the story, suffers dearly due to his unfair treatment that he gets from people. "I had never fought or thrown a punch at anyone. It was an aberration to my father, and he had instilled in me this idea of physical violence as an aberration" (pg.178). From Lyle's speech it is evident that he still follows his father's philosophy of non-violence even after all the unfair treatments that he gets from people. However, Lyle, in his heart is against his father's philosophy. Lyle is against his father's philosophy not because he is evil, but it is the mistreatment of people that leads him to this feeling. Even after all that unfair treatment that he gets from people, such as people hitting him for no reason, just to make fun of him, he never hit back. However this does not last long. People's mistreatment of Lyle...