If we substitute for a frog a "Mr. Goodwill" or a "Mr. Prudence," and for the scorpion "Mr. Treachery" or "Mr. Two-Face," and make the river any river and substitute for "We're both Arabs . . ." "We're both men . ." we turn the fable [which illustrates human tendencies by using animals as illustrative examples] into an allegory [a narrative in which each character and action has symbolic meaning]. On the other hand, if we turn the frog into a father and the scorpion into a son (boatman and passenger) and we have the son say "We're both sons of God, aren't we?", then we have a parable (if a rather cynical one) about the wickedness of human nature and the sin of parricide. (22)
Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heav'n's joy,
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See: Roland Holst-Van der Schalk, Henriette, 1869-1952
With his aunt and the entire congregation praying for him, finally Langston does go to the stage himself as if he had been saved. The congregation and his aunt are ecstatic, but he cries later on that night because he knows he did not receive "salvation" in the way he was told. He is left with questions about why nothing happened when he and his friend pretended to be saved, and a sense of moral confusion about his experiences and the expectations of his family, the church and society that return to the central theme.
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