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Religious Hypocrisy

Religious Hypocrisy

Deceit is dishonesty whereas hypocrisy is when a person’s actions are different from what s/he says. Religiosity, on the other hand, is whereby one pretends to be religious but his/her actions are contrary to the religion that s/he follows. Many characters in the text are either, deceitful, pious or hypocritical.

Georgi Abashwili, the Governor, is deceitful and hypocritical when he and his family attend church on Easter Sunday. On the doorway, they are met by beggars and petitioners, who want help from him. He, however, does not bother to listen to their cries and instead allows his bodyguards to whip them and push them back. This is contrary to what a devoted Christian should do. While the family goes to church, they don’t care to allow the servants, like Grusha, time to go to church as well.

The Fat Prince is deceitful and hypocritical when he also attends church and even wishes his brother a ‘happy Easter Sunday’ and bows before Michael. (p.15). The Fat Prince does all this while he knows that he will behead the Governor after the church service.

Religiosity, hypocrisy and excessive piety is displayed by Aniko. When Grusha arrives at her brother’s, she is hungry and worn out but instead of Aniko welcoming her warmly and sympathizing with her, she questions her especially about the child. When Grusha collapses due to fatigue, Aniko quickly accuses her of carrying scarlet fever – a dangerous infectious disease.

Grusha is forced to lie to Aniko that she is married and that she is going to meet her husband in the mountains. This is after Lavrenti warns her that Aniko is very religious and will not allow her to stay if she has a child with no father. (p.45-46) Aniko’s hypocrisy is seen by the way she shouts at her servants and how she wears two pairs of socks to church – ever since her servant was seen in church with a hole in her stocking.

Lavrenti is hypocritical as well when he pretends to help Grusha by marrying her off to a ‘dying man’ instead of giving her a place to stay in his own home. He even uses his own money to pay off the Mother-in-Law to accept the marriage to take place.

The Monk is hypocritical when he accepts to be paid to keep quiet about the existence of a child. He is also dishonest because he is drunk instead of being a role model for others in society. The mourners are also hypocritical by the way they seem to be concerned with the food being served instead of the impending death of Jussup.

Jussup is deceptive when he pretends to be a person who is sick and whose death is imminent. He fools everybody, including his own mother, to the point that a funeral is arranged. When he learns through what the guests are saying, that the war is over, he makes a sudden recovery much to the shock of the guests.

Grusha suffers as a result of the deception, hypocrisy and religiosity around her. She suffers under the roof of the Governor, she is mistreated in her brother’s house and because of Jussup’s deception, she gets a husband she does not want.

POINTS TO THINK ABOUT

  1. Is Azdak hypocritical / deceptive?
  2. Are the Ironshirts hypocritical/deceptive?
  3. Are the Ironshirts hypocritical/deceptive?

 

Conflict and antagonism

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