In Gods Go Begging, how is time reduced, slowed down, negated of its energy and life-giving potential in war and in prison? Make sure to quote the text and closely analyze the metaphors and...

In Gods Go Begging, how is time reduced, slowed down, negated of its energy and life-giving potential in war and in prison? Make sure to quote the text and closely analyze the metaphors and symbols, the tone and/or feeling of each scene, demonstrating their connection to your claims and arguments.

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Jesse visits the prison, he goes to the ward in which the prisoners have to remain recumbent. In this strange environment, it's almost as if time is slowed down. Véa writes that the prisoners "clung to their thin bedding and small cots in the same dull way that stunted, unmetamorphosed caterpillars might cling to their ill-woven cocoons" (53). In this sentence, the prisoners are compared, using metaphor, to caterpillars who remain in their cocoons and never burst out of them. Instead, they remain inert in their beds, and the prisoners' beds become "finely tuned machines capable of travel through time and space" (53). The author compares the prisoners' beds to space ships, implying the eerie mood of the ward in which the life-giving or energy-giving potential of time is removed, leaving only a kind of void.

The author also implies that the death caused by war and violence makes time slow down and sucks it of its energy-giving potential. The two victims of violence who lie on the street in the first page of the book are compared, in a simile, to soldiers. The author writes, "Then, like warriors abandoned on a field, they lay in unearthly calm as the things of life deserted them" (1). When they die, time is suspended for them. They are able to calmly watch as they are transported to the medical examiner's office, as time no longer has any urgency or meaning to them. Instead, the death caused by war and violence slows down time.