Study Guide

Alligator Bayou Religion

By Donna Jo Napoli

Religion

Alligator Bayou doesn't teach or preach or try to determine anything about the legitimacy of religion, but religion still plays a role in the story. Calogero and his family are Catholic, as are all the Sicilian people they know, but the townsfolk, both white and Black alike, are Protestant and Baptist. And though at first glance this means everyone in town seems to be Christian, Calo's uncles won't allow themselves to even consider walking into a church that isn't Catholic, not even for a party with friends. In other words, religion is just one more way that this little group of people is different from the others in this town—and country.

Questions About Religion

  1. How does religion set Calo's family apart from the townspeople?
  2. How does it affect their relationship to laws?
  3. How does religion bring Calogero's family together?
  4. Is religion a major part of Calogero's story? Why or why not?
  5. What is it about religion that Calo likes?

Chew on This

The family keeps its connection to Sicily alive through Catholicism.

Calogero feels like he is a dutiful son because his mother was very religious, and he tries to be too. He thinks it will make his mother's soul happy.

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