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PARADISE WITHIN Essay, Research Paper
The search for paradise is the neverending struggle through life for sanctum and inner-peace.
While the knowledge of a single religion can cause doubts of afterlife, the contrast between two culturally
diverse beliefs complicates matters even more; possibly to the point of enlightenment that one man’s heaven
is another man’s hell. Likewise, the film, BlackRobe, plays on the similarities between Chomina, the Huron
indian tribe leader, and Father LaForgue, the French Jesuit preist and the ultimate respect they gain for
one another despite their cultural and religious diffferences. One must always show respect before one
can expect to receive it however these circumstances come about.
Chomina and Father LaForgue shared the common bond of commitment to a promise. This is
what created the underlying conflict between the two. Chomina had promised to deliver Father LaForgue
to his destiny (a missionary camp set up by other French preist), while at the same time, Chomina had to
stand up for his own cultural beliefs and life-style. On the other hand, LaForgue devotes himself to his god,
country, and the battle to save the souls of these poor Huron savages. Both of their constant efforts to
keep their commitments created much friction between the two, and posed problems of doubt to them.
There was one main factor that lead to Chomina and LaForgue’s understanding of one another.
Chomina’s daughter, Annuka, and Father LaForgue’s younger assistant Daniel crossed cultural, racial and
religious barriers with their love for one another. LaForgue did not understand why Daniel could love some-
one so religiously biased. What LaForgue finally sees is that love for someone should not be based upon
such trivial concepts such as a spiritual opinion. Chomina also sees this when Daniel continues to follow
the tribe after their abandonment. This then causes them to see that love conquers all differences through
the quality of the promises they both make to one another.
Both men knew and finally came to grips with their destiny and inevitable downfalls. Because deep
down inside they knew what they had to do. Chomina knew his demise was coming through the repitition of
his dream where the raven pecked out his eyes on a snow covered island. Not until his end did he see
this was his fate. Not unlike Chomina, Father LaForgue knew his fate was also tragic. His mother had told
him that she would not see him ever again. These two scenarios are similar due to the fact that the end
was near, but neither could make real sense of the actual events. Despite the tragedies that occured along
their way, much insight and enlightenment was acquired by all involved parties. Presumabley, this can be
summed up by the saying, “There’s what’s right, and there’s what’s right, and never the ‘tween shall meet”.
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