Study Guide

Gilead Letter 1, Section 14

By Marilynne Robinson

Letter 1, Section 14

  • Ames realizes that he's feeling covetous. He doesn't like looking down from the pulpit at his wife, son, and Jack Boughton sitting together like a family.
  • Ames doesn't want to be old, and he wishes he son had known him as a younger man.
  • Ames's son comes to him with a picture to show him, but Ames is finishing a magazine article and so doesn't look up. His wife tells their son that he doesn't hear him—as in, his hearing is bad.
  • Ames and his son walk to Boughton's to return the magazine.
  • Boughton is on his porch, enjoying the breeze.
  • Glory brings out lemonade.
  • Everyone talks about TV.
  • Boughton thought the magazine would exasperate his friend.
  • Ames takes it home with him again, thinking he might use it in a sermon.
  • Boughton and Ames often debate matters of religion, philosophy, and sometimes grammar.
  • Ames realizes that in wanting Jack to leave Gilead, he's thinking only of himself, not of his friend.
  • Ames's wife comes to call him to supper, but he stays for a few to chat.
  • Jack asks Ames about his views on predestination.
  • Ames is like, of course Jack would ask about my least favorite subject.
  • After hearing Ames's answer, Jack calls him cagey.
  • Boughton laughs.
  • Mrs. Ames asks about salvation.
  • Jack wants to press the point, but he drops it after seeing that Ames and Boughton don't want to get into it.
  • Jack gets up to go, but he stays when Mrs. Ames asks him to.
  • Mrs. Ames says that anyone can change. Jack thanks her for her answer.
  • Ames knows he doesn't see good faith in Jack Boughton.
  • Mrs. Ames rebukes Ames on their way home.

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