Lillies Of The Field Essay, Research Paper
Vocabulary From ?The Lilies of the Field?
Amiable- to be friendly and noble.
?A sculptor would have interpreted the features in terms of character, but Homer Smith?s mother had once said of him that he was two parts amiable and one part plain devil.?
Antagonism- to be angry; hostile.
?Homer felt antagonism stir in him, but it was a fine day and he was carrying the day in his spirit.?
Pantomime- a routine
?She went through the pantomime of shaking hands with one of the nuns and he told her what she was doing, pointing out the ?you? and the ?her.??
Segregated- to be set separated from others.
??If you learn English from me,? he said apologetically, ?you?re sure enough going to get yourselves segregated some places.??
Dilemma- a problem that has multiple solutions but all having a downfall.
?She did not have the authority to except gifts, but she lacked the vocabulary necessary
to refuse acceptance or to explain her dilemma.?
Debris- Left over wreckage.
?The warmth of the day touched his skin and he was looking toward the debis in the foundation.
Alternative- another way or idea.
?He created a refuse pile that would have to be leveled off some day but he had no alternative and it did not worry him.?
Ultimately- above all else
?She wants a place ultimately for poor boys from the city; Spanish-speaking boys who get in trouble.?
?Loneliness had long since dropped away from him and he felt exultation.?
?He wanted to mingle his voice with these others but the words eluded him so long as he regarded them as words; when he thought of them merely as sounds, they made a pattern in his mind.?
When he walked to the station wagon, he was empty of thought but was filled with the throbbing sound, a happy feeling of reverence.?
Dismay- to be afraid.
? The expenditure dismayed him but he assured himself that he would pay the money back to his fund out of his pay on Friday.?
He turned to his right on a rutted road and the nuns were in the field, working on their variegated crop, fighting for their growing stuff against weeds and voracious insects and the parched dryness of the soil.?
?He did not know whether he would still have a job with Livingston Construction Company and he was reluctant to leave his own job unguarded.?
?Some intangible thing, some joyful spirit, had gone out of his life and he tried to call it back.
A legend is someone that is renown throughout the lands as a figure who has done something extraordinary and has left a mark on the world, for better or for worse.
In ?The Lilies of the Field,? Homer Smith was the legend. You can tell in the first chapter that he is destined to become a legend by how he lives. He travels from place to place and never settles down. Surely he would stop somewhere with his station wagon and guitar and find his destiny. Fate brought him to the German nuns and that same fate will lead him to become a legend.
Homer Smith seems like he would make a good friend because he is friendly to everyone. Even when he met Mother Maria Marthe who spoke sternly to him in her native tongue he kept a ?cool head? and tried to find the goodness in her and her surroundings (p. 13). You can also tell that he treats everyone he sees the same and never judges by the color of their skin.
The two main characters in ?The Lilies of the Field? are Homer Smith and Mother Maria. Mother Maria and Homer are two people who are completely different. From the time they first meet you can tell they are similar to the ?Odd Couple.? Homer likes to sleep in and eat a hearty breakfast. Mother Maria likes to get up at the crack of dawn and have a light breakfast consisting of a small portion of egg. When Mother Maria shows ?Schmidt? the chapel he feels it is impossible to build it alone but Mother Maria thinks otherwise by saying that even her and the sisters could build it.
Because of so many disagreements and Mother Maria?s occasional bitterness, it seems unlikely that they could become friends forever. Also since Homer is a ?man on the road,? I think he will not be there long enough to carry on enduring friendship.
The chance of them becoming good friends seems more likely when they find a common interest. This happens when Homer wanted to get paid for his work. Since it was hard for him to communicate to her, he resorted to the bible to get his point across as did Mother Maria. This knowledge of the bible and faithfulness to their respective
religions is what they had in common. This also helped them find a way of communicating between their two diverse languages.
Homer?s attitude changed throughout this chapter. He was his usual self in the beginning being cheerful and polite. This attitude started to change though as Sister Maria kept pestering him. He started to speak more angrily and at times frustrated. But at the end of this chapter when the nuns wanted to go to church he caved in and decided to give them a lift since it was two miles away.
Chapters 3 and 4
In these chapters you find out that Homer and the nuns have the same interest in music. When Homer is playing his guitar by his station wagon, Mother Maria hears him and calls him to come inside and play for the girls. He agrees and plays songs for them. It seemed they all enjoyed his music and introduced them to their own music. The nuns sing in Latin. It was the first time he heard a Latin song. He tried to join in and succeeded near the end of the song. Exposing each other to new types of music brought them together since that is something that can be shared no matter what the language.
In chapter four, the reason Mother Maria wants to build the church is found out by Homer. She wants to build it so young mischievous Spanish boys can have a nice country environment to grow up in rather than the city. The boys would live, learn, and work on the farm. You can tell from this that behind her stern face, lies a caring heart of gold.
The reader also finds out that Homer is sensitive about his skin color and feels that when he is not treated right by someone who is not black, it is because they are
racist. This is displayed when he talks to the man at the Livingston Construction Company who comes to tell him that he thinks he can not build the church alone and that he could not give bricks to Mother Maria.
Chapter 5 and 6
During the course of chapters five and six, Homer and Mother Maria?s relationship had changed for the better. I feel they both started to understand each other much better. Especially Mother Teresa who becomes much nicer to Homer, and Homer who does the same. She no longer tells him what to do (least not all the time), but asks in a friendly manner. The biggest change was when she smiled at him in front of the church.
The nuns have had a big effect on Homer. You can tell they are in his mind when he is at the construction site. When he sees the bath tub the girls immediately pop into his mind and he realizes they need one. Mother Teresa also does not try to refuse the tub and except the offer from Homer.
What Did the Author Mean When he Titled the Book
?The Lilies of the Field?
Why the author titled this book ?The Lilies of the Field,? is easily explained in a paragraph in chapter two on page forty-three. The line reads: ?And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.?
Actually you should read all of pages forty-two and forty-three to grasp the full concept. I think the phrase, ?The Lilies of the Field? was used to represent the nuns. The nuns stay in the same place no matter how old they get and they never get into trouble with anyone. Those four nuns are the lilies of the field.