Friday, May 31, 2019
OConnors The Lame Shall Enter First :: Lame Shall Enter First Essays
OConnors The Lame Sh tout ensemble Enter FirstThe Lame Shall Enter First concentrates on the birth between Sheppard and, on the one hand, his son Norton, and on the other a boy in a reformatory, Johnson. Sheppards wife is dead and Norton misses his mother. Sheppard cant understand Norton at all and chooses to spend all of his time helping Johnson, who tells him that Satan has him in his power (150). Sheppard of course does not believe in Satan and tries to rationalise the whole situation. He brings Johnson home and Johnson interferes with Nortons mothers belongings which, of course, greatly upsets Norton. Sheppards reaction to this is that Norton in reality needs to learn how to share things. Johnson reacts very badly to this and plays Sheppard off against his son. When Sheppard leaves the room after he has told Johnson that he thinks hes good for Norton because Norton needs to share things, Johnson says God kid . . . how do you stand it? . . He thinks hes Jesus Christ (161). As th e story proceeds Johnson tries to get Sheppard to see that evilness exists and that Satan actually runs the world as he sees it (164). The outcome of the story, as might be expected from the rest of OConnors stories, is that Sheppard is unable to use reason to form Johnson. Despite Sheppards attempts to help Johnson walk better (hence the title The Lame Shall Enter First) by giving him a wooden leg, Johnson sticks by his notion that what is really wrong with him is evil Sheppard said . . . I am going to save you.Johnson thrust his head forward. Save yourself, he hissed. Nobody can save me unless Jesus. (180)A little later Johnson says to Sheppard The Devil has you in his power (185). He then disappears.At the end of the story Johnson is caught by the police in further wrong-doing and Norton commits self-destruction by hanging himself from the window through which he has been trying to find his mother amongst the stars with a telescope. Towards the end Sheppard realises that he ha s confused good works with Christian faith. Works wont save you but great faith will Nortons face rose before him, empty, forlorn, his left eye listing almost imperceptibly toward the satellite rim as if it could not bear a full view of grief.