Tag: Ed Norman


The city of Raymond according to Maxwell, Norman and the shabby stranger

In His Steps is a rare work of fiction, which achieves a perfect balance of theology and social comment. The important characters in the novel each add their own perspectives to the town of Raymond. We find areas of convergence as well as divergence between their views on the town. But in synthesis, a composite picture of Raymond emerges.

Reverend Henry Maxwell, around whom the whole plot revolves, is an influential figure in the town, which is populated mostly by Christians. He was a sincere and honest clergyman, albeit with a degree of prejudice, as demonstrated in his initial attitude toward the shabby stranger. With Raymond hinted to be located in interior Illinois, this kind of class prejudice is not uncommon at the time of the novel’s setting. In this vein, Raymond’s distrust and distance toward the stranger is a statement about semi-rural America at the turn of the twentieth century. Moved by the shabby stranger’s passionate appeal to the members of the . . . Read More

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