In “Go Tell it on the Mountain”, the Grimes family seems to be struggling with their religion. With the characters having hatred within the religion, living within fear (of God and Gabriel), and family members only caring when something major happens, the family’s religious belief does not seem to sit well with the Grimes. Every day, there always seems to be some sort of war going on, whether it’s physical or spiritual, it always seems to be about the rejection of something.
The major theme of “Go Tell it on the Mountain” is problems with religion because, the characters are arguing about their fathers puritanical policies, they they lie and keep it to themselves, and some family members are stubborn and won’t be moved by someone being saved. In the book, the morning starts out with Roy eating breakfast with John coming out while Roy eats. His mom prepared a special breakfast for him and they eat. A couple minutes later, John asks suddenly about his father, which is where the argument starts.
They all start arguing and Roy says they don’t know how lucky they are to have a father that doesn’t want them to do a lot of stuff, which clearly Roy is exaggerating. In the book, Roy said, “We don’t know how lucky we is to have a father that don’t want you to go to the movies, and don’t want you to play in the streets, and don’t want you to have no friends, and he don’t want this, and he don’t want that, and he doesn’t want you to do nothing. We so lucky to have a father who just wants us to go to church and read the bible and beller like a fool in front of the altar and stay home nice and quiet, like a little mouse.
Boy we sure is lucky alright. ” (Pg. 17). Roy is saying that his father doesn’t want them to do anything so that they will not do anything bad and be clean to their religion, which Roy doesn’t like. In the third chapter, Gabriel marries Deborah. There was also Esther, whom Gabriel invited to one of his sermons. Later on, on an evening when the family was out of town, he ended up having an affair with her. The affair lasted nine days before Gabriel ended it. A couple months later, Esther was pregnant with his child.
So Gabriel stole money from Deborah and gave it to Esther so she could go and have her baby. Later, a letter was sent from Esther that she died giving birth, but she named him Royal before she passed. Gabriel watched Royal grow up, and Gabriel and Deborah were in contact with him. One day, Gabriel broke down and he confessed after Deborah asked him that Royal was his bloodson, Gabriel kept it to himself all of these year. In this chapter, Deborah says, “Gabriel, he is your flesh and blood isn’t he? (Gabriel agrees) And you sent that girl away with my money out of the box? Gabriel agrees) Why did you do it? (No response)… Honey, I don’t care what other people say, I would have raised that kid up like my own. … Honey, you better pray to God to forgive you. (Gabriel agrees)” Gabriel has sinned and had an affair with Esther and he never said anything nor did he do anything.
When he had to reveal it, he had to ask God for forgiveness. In the final chapter, John becomes saved. His mother and aunt are excited and encouraging, while his father is being stubborn and remains cold. All his father does, is say Praise the lord, othing else, no smile, no movement, & no kiss (the family kind of kiss). There is a silence, then John tells his father that he is saved and he knows that he is saved. He then repeats his father’s words and then his father finally speaks up and says that it’s coming from John’s mouth, and that John’s father wants to see him live it. From this, John’s father isn’t happy with him until John is perfect.
In this scene, it’s says, Mom: “I’m mighty proud, Johnny. You keep the faith. I’m going to be praying for you till the lord puts me in my grave. ” John: “praise the lord. Father: “praise the lord. ” … John; “I’m saved, and I know I am saved. … My witness is in heaven and my record is on high. ” Father: “It comes from your mouth, I want to see you live it, It’s more than a notion. ” In any family, everybody is excited when somebody is saved; In this book, John’s father is the only one still cold hearted, meaning that he is stubborn, and his religion hasn’t done anything to help him move on with life, making that a problem within religion. In go tell it on the mountains, things in the Grimes family and their religion isn’t going so well.
Family members are arguing about some religious policies, some lie, keep it hidden for long periods, and doesn’t even say anything, and then some people in the family are just straight up stubborn. If the family like this religion, then the religion shouldn’t be performing so badly in this family. It doesn’t help people change the way they live, nor does the policies for it make anything any better. If the Grimes keep living this way, the family is going to fall apart. Which is why this religious problem has to be solved by either adapt to it, or change the religion.