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Praying drunk by Andrew Hudgins is a literature about a drunken man’s experience opening up his thoughts and imaginations packaged as a prayer to God. This mixture of his drunken thoughts and the inclusion of a higher being cause the man to speak of his deepest and most sincere endeavors in relation to his life. From the poem, it is clearly evident that he expresses his life‘s depressions and under achievements.
Religion, faith and doubt are clearly but differently brought about in the poem. One would require a moment to answer the question “Does this man believe in God or not?” Many still after reading the text would with no doubt relay that the man truly has no respect for God and site the numerous examples brought forth in the literature.
Sarcasm is brought out in the way that he addresses God in his prayer. He talks of how he’s drunk once again and offers thanks for the red wine (line 1 and 2). He also taught a woman this prayer in bed of which he speaks so shamelessly. Moreover, he describes how we lurch from metaphor to metaphor with “let it be so as a form of prayer.”
All through the text, he is arrogant showing the least bit of respect as he “prays.” Also all these reflections of his life are mealy a complaint towards God to the sort of life he lives. He asks for a woman and money but most important of all he asks that he is remembered.
Also, the way he describes/ distinguished the difference between the beauties of deer to that of a rat is just by the fact that he has not had the opportunity to kill one and see its scramble wanting to live more savagely than he did. All this however is a blind fold undermining ones attempt to see the real drunkard’s plea and standing in terms of belief and religion.
Yes he does respect and believe in God. In fact, he is a very religious man which is clearly and evidently brought out in the first instance when he gets drunk and offers a prayer to our Father. As he literates, it’s not his first time offering the prayer but a regular thing he does once drunk and even going further to teach the woman of it. He understands the religious ways knowing that he should start by offering a word of praise but excusing himself by saying that it comes hard to him. Maybe from the many life’s misfortunes that he’s experienced; that he sees nothing to be grateful for? You never know only an interview with the author could answer this.
He recognizes Gods great powers and asks him to protect the woman whom he seems to be emotionally attached. Also in his prayer, he asks for a woman and not women. It seems he is morally upright only wanting someone whom he could confide in and make his life worth living. Further he prays for the woman asking for her protection which is in fact an astonishing request from a drunk person for a woman whom they aren’t even together with. This proves further of his deep rooted religious background.
“It’s hard to kill your rats, our Father_ I would feel a little bad to kill something that wants to live more savagely than I do.” These are the words of the drunkard as he describes his experience as a little boy who used to ride out to the dump and shoot the rats. He feels bad as his intellect haunts his actions. The moral uprightness of his life is the only cause for this showing that he is very much inclined to caring for God’s creation and belief. As he states further “even if it’s just a rat.” This is just a comparison of how a rat values its life more than he does his. He stoops so low in that he appreciates the rats love for its own life despite it being so small and worthless to a man’s eye, possibly from the frustration in his life.
He is well aware that he sins and the whole world does, as he drives home and feels afraid of the landscape that looks like a giant wave quoting “let it come and wash the whole world clean.” “Forgive me. This is my favorite sin: despair_ whose love I celebrate with wine and prayer.” Recognizing that he speaks and anguishes in despair, he excuses himself for his drinking as this was caused by the despair that he currently goes through, He suffers and decides to ease his suffering with some red wine, not blaming God for his misfortunes directly but acknowledging him as the solution to his problems. With this he asks for forgiveness for the wrongs he acknowledges having committed so as to make sure that God doesn’t hesitate to transform his life from as it is now to the way he prays for: to have money and a woman: a symbol to what he thinks good living is all about generally concluding to “a life worth living.” These are his hopes that he wishes to have this at some time in his life. Generally when one is drunk one opens up and try’s to figure things out on their own but the man comes up with the conclusion that God is his only hope if he ever hopes to have worth for his life.
This is further brought out by the fact that he recognizes that mankind is victim to their own ignorance, advancements and technology as he speaks of popeye. These are no match to natural/ physical forces. “It makes me sometimes think of you. What makes me think of me is the poor jerk who wanders out on air and looks down. Below his feet, he sees eternity.” This begs the question “Is this Man’s ultimate fate of mankind; being the “poor jerk”?” This submission clearly shows that he is a firm believer and despite his intertwined holy practice and lack of respect for God, he is evidently a believer and the rest was the alcohol talking.
Mocking plus sarcasm or not; the drunken man is a believer between hard places trying to figure out his life believing in supernatural forces (God) whom he hopes will have an impact on his life for the better.