How we cite our quotes:
Janice and Rabbit become unnaturally still; both are Christians. God’s name makes them feel guilty. (1.29)
Pondering these sentences leaves us confused. Is guilt a positive and necessary human emotion? Whether it is or isn’t, what happens when you connect it to God?
Amish overwork their animal, he knew. Fanatics. Hump their women standing up, out in the fields, wearing clothes, just hoist black skirts and there it was, nothing underneath. No underpants. Manure worshipers. (1.103)
Rather than make us despise the Amish, does this paragraph provide a key to Rabbit’s later feeling of alienation at the diner in West Virginia?
"Hey, why don’t you get some clothes on instead of just lying there giving me [Ruth] the word."
This, and her turning, hair swirling, to say it, stir him. "Come here," he asks. The idea of making it while the churches are full excites him.
"No," Ruth says. She is really a little sore. His believing in God grates against her. (4.28-30)
Ruth just chose Rabbit over God. And he finds that hot. And this makes her spurn the pleasure of this world.