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Baby Suggs' character is illustrated through Biblical allusions at a number of points in the novel. At one crucial point (page 148 in my version of the novel), a section begins "When the four horsemen came…" You could refer to four people on horseback many ways. To call them "the four horsemen" evokes Revelations, and lets readers know that they're reaching an ending. Since the four horsemen were death, war, pestilence, and famine, their arrival means that violence and suffering will follow, as indeed happens soon after that—within a page or so.
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