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Word Count: 1,467
Who knows true happiness In Raney a novel by Clyde Edgerton a conflict between two cultures is recounted to the reader Raney a young white girl represents a traditional non-college educated Protestant from the deep south Charles a young white man embodies the intelligent cultured and refined character of an educated rich southern city dweller Raney and Charles the main characters in the book constantly demonstrate their different backgrounds They question each others positions on the issues morals family life and friendships on a regular basis This dissimilarity between their beliefs is clearly shown during an argument about the dismissal of the Pastor of Bethel Free Will Baptist Church over his committing adultery Charles supports his belief that the pastor should have been given a chance for forgiveness by saying Its possible that Jesus would have forgiven him After all he forgave a prostituteEdgerton 43 Raney after a lifetime of Bible study does not recall that passage whatsoever and saw no recourse but to dismiss the Pastor43 Each appears perplexed by the others ability to live and be happy while confined to his or her respective culture For instance Raney believes that Charles wastes his time on useless endeavors Sometimes I believe these hippies and college professors sit around and frown and complain about whats helping a community most72 This disparity between the characters leads to a deeper more philosophical conundrum who is truly happy Raney or Charles While Charles may be better educated and more cultured than Raney a deeper look at culture proves that it is in fact the less cultured less knowledgeable Raney who seems to have found true happiness Raney and Charles are both good people and both strive for perfection in their own minds Raney demonstrates her relentless drive for what she considers perfection by saying to Charles If its not in the Bible Im not interested in it because if I have to stop believing in
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