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Requiem on a Dark Night

Requiem on a Dark Night

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Published by neptuneauteur
In Edward P. Jones’ A Dark Night the not so apparent protagonist, Ida Garrett, arrives at the apartment of her neighbor, Carmena Boone, and finds another neighbor, Beatrice Atwell for whom she has been searching. Beatrice, Carmena and the two other elderly women, the two Frazier sisters are waiting for the minister, Reverend Dr. Sawyer, to arrive and hold prayer meeting.
In Edward P. Jones’ A Dark Night the not so apparent protagonist, Ida Garrett, arrives at the apartment of her neighbor, Carmena Boone, and finds another neighbor, Beatrice Atwell for whom she has been searching. Beatrice, Carmena and the two other elderly women, the two Frazier sisters are waiting for the minister, Reverend Dr. Sawyer, to arrive and hold prayer meeting.

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Published by: neptuneauteur on Feb 15, 2008
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06/16/2009

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Requiem on A Dark Night 
 
Anjuelle D. Floyd
In Edward P. Jones’
 A Dark Night 
the not so apparent protagonist, Ida Garrett, arrives atthe apartment of her neighbor, Carmena Boone, and finds another neighbor, BeatriceAtwell for whom she has been searching. Beatrice, Carmena and the two other elderlywomen, the two Frazier sisters are waiting for the minister, Reverend Dr. Sawyer, toarrive and hold prayer meeting.It is a stormy and thunderous afternoon when Ida Garrett enters Carmena’s apartment. Anhour and a half passes, and the minister, referred to by Ida as a “…
 jackleg 
…” telephones,and after apologizing to Carmena for his lateness adds that he can’t start his car. He won’t be coming. (p. 219)Beatrice Atwell then relays a story of when during her childhood, and during a nighttimestorm, not unlike the one the four women find themselves sitting in, lightening strikes thehouse of her fathers brother, leaving Beatrice’s uncle, aunt, and cousin dead. They weresitting in the very positions they held when the line of lightening plowed through thehouse as if “…
a big fireball of barbed wired 
…” Only the male cousin who came to getthem, the baby in the crib and the female cousin sitting to the kitchen remained alive.(p. 223)Ida Garrett, Carmena, the host, and the Frazier sisters between whom Beatrice is sittingstop from their knitting and sewing and slip into a long quietude remaining.
11/24/2007 
(all excerpts taken from Edward P. Jones’
 Lost in the City
of 4
ISBN -00679258-X)
1
 
Requiem on A Dark Night 
 
Anjuelle D. Floyd
“…
The Lord works in mysterious ways
…” Ida breaks the silence, adding, “…
 For good or for bad the Lord seeks you out and finds you
.” (p. 225)Her tone is accusatory and judgmental like the comment she made to Beatrice earlier when entering Carmena’s apartment, “…
 surprised to see you here…thought you might behome…”
and finding Beatrice present. (p. 218)Ida Garrett is envious of Beatrice Atwell.Ida and the three other women eat the refreshments Carmena has prepared. The first toleave Ida returns to her apartment.Late that night, around four am the next morning, she awakes with a start as a blast of thunder sounds amid the rain and lightening. Immediately she crawls out of bed and withher cane makes her way into the hall, moves past Carmena Boone’s apartment and ontoBeatrice Atwell’s--Ida’s destination at the outset of the story.Ida lands several desperate knocks on Beatrice’s door to which Beatrice asks, “
Who isit 
?” (p. 227)
 It’s me
.”
Why you always knocking at my door, woman?”
Beatrice states from within her apartment then reminds Ida,
We ain’t no friends no more, or did you forget that 
?”(p. 227)
11/24/2007 
(all excerpts taken from Edward P. Jones’
 Lost in the City
of 4
ISBN -00679258-X)
2
 
Requiem on A Dark Night 
 
Anjuelle D. Floyd
 Please Bea…Don’t leave me out here. Have some pity
.”“…
You lucky
.” Beatrice opens the door, and then on closing it, “
 I was just about ready to go in that bathroom, and you know when I go in there I don’t come out for a soul 
.” (p.227)The two women head for Beatrice’s windowless bathroom, and there they wait out thestorm.This story concerns
 fear 
 —dread of being with one’s self and also that of being withanother who is not afraid to be alone and with God. Ida Garrett, older than the four women, considers herself closer to God than the women. She is dismissive of there prayer meeting they are waiting for minister Sawyer conduct and critical of the minister himself.At the conclusion of Beatrice’s story she delivers a condescending remark. But it is after the silence has descended for Ida too has been moved. The story reminds her that deathresists no man or woman. And thus she is the target of her statement, “…
The Lord worksin mysterious ways
…” “…
 For good or for bad 
[He]
seeks you out…”
In the week hours of the following morning, when the thundering and lightening of thestorm reaches its height—a time when many then and today believe the Almighty isconducting the heart of its craft, that of shaping and reshaping the hearts of women andmen—Ida resumes her search for Beatrice, the emissary of her a message that awakensIda’s fears, brings them to the surface--a person who, unlike Ida was made painfullyaware of God’s inimitable omnipresence early in her life. And there, in not being turned
11/24/2007 
(all excerpts taken from Edward P. Jones’
 Lost in the City
of 4
ISBN -00679258-X)
3

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