Faith in Coincidence

End of the AffairOne of the subtexts in Graham Greene’s novel, The End of the Affair, is whether there is a god and whether it even matters.

It is revealed at the end of the novel that the character Sarah, rather than being an atheist, was actually a Catholic. The proof:  her mother, to going against the wishes of her spouse at the time, took two-year old Sarah to a priest and had her baptized as a Catholic. Imagine: tossing a young child into the world of the church because the mother wanted revenge on her husband. Bendrix later muses: “You can’t mark a two-year-old child for life with a bit of water and a prayer.”

Earlier Sarah’s mother had confessed: “I always had a wish that it would ‘take’. Like vaccination.” Now there’s a nice image: religion in a hypodermic needle.

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