Literary Analysis on the Book of Job Essay

3073 Words Oct 29th, 2013 13 Pages
Jonathan M. Reiland
5th Period
Mr. Nabors
English 4206 [ 11 November 2010 ]
The Book of Job: An Examination Of all of the stories, fables, proverbs, and histories of the Bible, The Book of Job is one of the most compelling due to its unique literary style and the complex treatment of the issue of suffering. Unlike other books of the Bible, The Book of Job details a conflict between man and God within a poetic structure, and is the only book in the Bible to take on the problem of suffering as its main purpose. Throughout the book, Job pleads to God for all of the misfortunes that have befallen him. This type of discourse found in Job cannot be found anywhere else in scripture. Upon examination of the roles of protagonist and
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Job’s purpose is to follow God even through extreme circumstances. Satan’s purpose is to test whether or not Job is truly a follower of God. This ambiguity is clarified from the reader’s perspective; each individual’s own bias, interpretations, and beliefs determine the role of Satan and Job. If Satan is put forth as the protagonist in the conflict between Job and God, then Job can be seen as the antagonist. The onus is then on Satan to progress the plot and it is his mission and purpose to bring havoc and destruction upon all of Job’s possessions and all that he holds dear. Job, on the other hand, is working against Satan by pleading to God to cease the suffering that Satan is placing upon Job. Job is clearly the antagonist in this situation. Most people are more likely to view Job as the good guy, as the victim who is a pawn between God and Satan. The problem of suffering arises when it is asserted that God is morally just and righteous. Since God is allowing Satan to bring suffering into Job’s life and ultimately the world, God is ultimately responsible for everything that takes place on earth. Job pleads to God in order to obtain an answer for all of the misfortunes that have befallen him. Morristan writes, “They [Job’s friends] believe that, contrary to appearances, Job is being punished for some sin. Job, on the other hand, proclaims his innocence” (341). After Satan destroys Job’s home, family, cattle, and general

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