“Untoward Stories: A City of Churches / Donald Barthelme” by M.E. McMullen. Go to the profile of Untoward Magazine. Untoward Magazine. “City of Churches” is a short story written in by Donald Barthelme. The story takes place in a small town isolated from the real world. Get an answer for ‘In the short story “A City of Churches” by Donald Barthelme, Cecelia, when threatened to be kept in the city of Prester against her will, asserts .

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The name of this town is called Prestor. Everyone lived in the church they attended, which clearly had Cecelia shocked. This is how we know that this whole entire story is about religion. It’s as if Prestor is just superficial and the churches are just empty shells. This may be important as it suggests that Cecelia has the capacity to live her life independently of others or outside the accepted norms that appear to exist in Prester.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. None of the characters in the story, with the exception of Cecelia, appear to question whether it is normal or reasonable for their lives to be so heavily associated with the churches in the town.

American Literature: “City of Churches” by Donald Barthelme

The absurdity is Prester, a city of churches. Firstly by describing the man as being young Barthelme may be suggesting that Prester barthdlme to grow or develop as it is a predominately religious town and rather than young people in the town questioning things they too like the older residents in Prester accept the status quo and conform to the accepted norms of the town.


Do you believe in unconditional love? Teddy Rose September 21, at 1: And Nicole Kidman kind of feels isolated because she is the only one which is different. The fact that Cecelia intends to open a car rental business may also be symbolically important as for the majority of people the purpose of a car whether it is a rental or not is to go from one place to another.

Religion has quite obviously corrupted peoples’ minds in Prester. For example, the United Methodist was also a barber shop, and the Antioch Pentecostal doubled as the Board of Education.

The story is full of archetypal symbols especially evil. Phillips told her that she wasn’t religious yet, And that she was going to become religious sooner or later. Similarly one of the restaurants in the town is also located within a church.

A City of Churches by Donald Barthelme

Is there churchees you can recommend? Rather they seem to completely embrace or believe it to be not only acceptable but also right that their lives are so entwined with the churches.

When asked what she dreams about, Cecelia confidently said “mostly sexual things. Wow what a way to start out It is also possible, particularly if the reader bears in mind when the story was published at the height of the cold warthat Barthelme is suggesting that rather than criticizing the totalitarianism or subservience to the state that may have existed in Russia, again at the time the story barthlme published, America as a country may also need to look inwards or reflect on its own heavy reliance or subservience to religion.

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Phillips and the other residents in Prester, Cecelia continues to cjty the ability to think for herself and live independently of others without the need to associate herself with any church or religion. Let me know what you think I thought that the “City of Churches” was a fine piece of literature. I thought that Barthelme was commenting churchea the sameness and greyness of the Soviets, or maybe that he was criticizing the lack of religion there.

The opening of the story reminds me of Savannah, specifically Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Sebbass’ view of the best short stories of 20th Century American Literature. Personally my response to this story before I did the research on it was that it was very strange and weird. He is a co-founder of Fiction Magazine and winner of numerous awards and accolades for writing.

The ending of the story is also interesting as Barthelme appears to be further exploring the theme of conformity and independence. Prester is one strange town. Get updates Get updates. JoAnn September 21, at 8: