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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 177

Religion and philosophy are important themes in The Salt Eaters, which is a novel about Velma Henry. Velma has a breakdown and is trying to recover when she meets a faith healer named Minnie Ransom.

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Prominent quotes from the novel illustrate the interaction between the two and the theme of spiritual healing, including this one:

“What is religion, you might ask. It’s a technology of living.”

This shows the collision between spiritual themes and practicality that the novel shows. But, it doesn’t just stop there. The themes go further into showing an opinion of human nature.

Take this quote:

“Take away the miseries and you take away some folks’ reason for living.”

Not all spirituality is focused only on the positive in the story; some of it is focused on the nature of struggle.

The novel sets up struggle as part of spiritual healing when the author, Toni Bambara, writes:

“ . . . got to give it all up, the pain, the hurt, the anger and make room for lovely things to rush in and fill you full.”

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