The Complexities Of Fate And Free Will In Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow

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In Mary Doria Russell’s novel The Sparrow, the complexities of social and structural sin, as well as fate and free will are evident. In class, we defined free will as making the conscious decisions of the choices in one’s life, and fate as very one-dimensional, where one’s outcome is already pre-determined (Theodicy PPT). In a story where God is present, it is hard to decide whether following what you believe to be Gods path is fate or free will, which is challenged in The Sparrow. Furthermore, The Sparrow follows the new model of sin, where the focus is on the good in everyone rather than the evil. In The Sparrow, Fr. Emilio Sandoz believes that following the music to the planet Rakhat is Gods path, and he must go to it because that is …show more content…
The characters within the novel, realize that there are sins out there that they aren’t aware of but also realize that they shouldn’t dwell on the evils of the world. For instance, the character Sofia Mendez was a child prostitute, which under the eyes of God is a sin. Emilio Sandoz chooses to look over this sin and focus on her strengths and charm as an intelligence specialist. He falls in love by looking past her sins and falls in love with the good that she radiates. Furthermore, in the novel, Anne says: “I do what I do without hope of reward or fear of punishment. I do not require Heaven or Hell to bribe or scare me into acting decently” (Russell 110). Establishing the concept of focusing on the good of the world and being a descent person rather than dwelling on the …show more content…
The most prevalent types of sin found in the novel is structural and social sin. To us, as humans, we may view the Runa and Jana 'ata society to littered with social sin. The way the Jana’ata prey on the Runa to feast on their babies, is an example social sin. Since this is a cultural habit that has been frame worked within their day to day lives it makes it a social sin. In class, we described structural sin as “official group policies that present a social context to others that either constrain freedom or only present only bad choices” (Social Sin PPT). For example, when the Jana’ata capture Emilio and mutilate his hands to make them look longer and elite and sell him into sex slavery, this practice of wrong doing is structural sin. As well as, the way that the Runa are practically enslaved to the Jana’ata is also a structural sin. In the end, O’Keefe says: “In general, however, the phenomenon of social sin involves a certain blindness to the injustice of the situation and structures with which one is involved.” (O’Keefe 69). In The Sparrow, the Runa and the Jana’ata are blind to the way that their social structure is developed and is ultimately

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