What is Roselily's perception of the preacher?

Expert Answers

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Roselily certainly does not think highly of the preacher. In fact, she seems to think that he is not really a man of God.  The narrator says,

She looks for the first time at the preacher, forces humility into her eyes, as if she believes he is, in fact, a man of God. She can imagine God, a small black boy, timidly pulling the preacher’s coattail.

Roselily imagines God as an innocent child who the preacher is actively ignoring, despite the fact that God is trying to get his attention. The preacher, then, is out of touch with God in her eyes, a pretty serious indictment since a preacher, one would think, would be the first to listen to God. 

Even more damning is the narrator's later statement:

The preacher is odious to her. She wants to strike him out of the way, out of her light, with the back of her hand. It seems to her he has always been standing in front of her, barring her way.

Roselily feels the preacher is blocking her, confining her, and she wishes that she could hit him hard, dismissively, to get him out of her way. Clearly, then, the preacher doesn't inspire, comfort, or in any way benefit her; she feels that he is out of touch with God and has actually made her life worse.

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