Study Guide

Gilead Letter 1, Section 3

By Marilynne Robinson

Letter 1, Section 3

  • Ames has been lonely most of his life.
  • Ames listens to a lot of baseball games. He also listens to a lot of people.
  • Ames's grandfather takes him to see Bud Fowler play. The game is interrupted by a thunderstorm. Ames assumes that this has some divine meaning in relation to his grandfather, but he isn't sure what it is.
  • Soon thereafter, Ames's grandfather returns to Kansas, where he'd been involved with John Brown.
  • Walking away from his own father's grave, Ames's father comments on the naturalness of the sun and moon's alignment. He isn't one to talk of modern-day miracles.
  • Ames had felt assurance and joy at the vision.
  • Ames's grandfather had told him about a vision of the Lord he had at the age of sixteen.
  • Ames's father says it was the times.
  • Here we get the grandfather's core ethic of life: be useful. Ames respects this view.
  • Back in the present, so to speak, Ames sways as a song plays on the radio. His wife sees him and shows him how to dance.
  • Ames's wife wishes he were not so old. It's a wish Ames shares.

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