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Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

None of the characters in the book are very religious, but some of them still attend church. Leslie's family doesn't go at all, and Jess's only makes it there once a year. For the Aarons family, church seems to be as much about presenting a good front to the community as it is about actually believing. We hear about belief systems from the very young May Belle, who insists to Leslie that without a belief in the Bible, "God'll damn you to hell when you die" (8.72). Leslie, with her imaginative, secular mindset, disagrees. This is one of the things that worries Jess when Leslie dies, and his father reassures him: "God ain't gonna send any little girls to hell" (12.34). Yet some people see these ideas as "anti-religious sentiments" instead of comforting ideas (source). For more on how the topic of religion is touched on in potential censorship, this website and Shmoop's "Intro."

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