Study Guide

Gilead Letter 1, Section 17

By Marilynne Robinson

Letter 1, Section 17

  • Ames hears Jack Boughton talking with his wife and son on the porch. He hears laughter and feels relief.
  • Jack brings gourds. Mrs. Ames sends him home with green tomatoes.
  • Ames recalls his father and grandfather sitting together on the porch, cracking and shelling black walnuts. They were mostly silent and just enjoyed each other's company.
  • Tobias and Ames's son play war on the porch.
  • Ames recalls a sermon his father gave after coming to terms with Edward's loss of faith. His father realized the pain he put his own father through.
  • Back when Ames's father stayed away from his own father's church, his mother had his sisters carry her to church.
  • Seeing his wife, Ames's grandfather stopped his preaching and carried his wife home. Ames's father didn't stay away again after that.
  • In his sermon, Ames's grandfather implied that Edward's transgressions were trivial next to his own.

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