May 10 2013
Jesus Land is a memoir authored by Julia Scheeres that shows a glimpse into an atypical family living in rural Indiana in the 1970’s. The riveting book presents broad ideas that are found in everyday life. The memoir is primarily focused on her relationship with her close-in-age brother David, who was adopted by the Scheeres family in 1970 when he was 3 years old. Although not related or the fact David is a few months younger than her, Julia expresses feelings as if David is her twin brother. When the Scheeres family moved to Lafayette; Julia, David and her ...view middle of the document...
Julia neglects David in school creating harsh tension between the two, leaving David feeling unloved and lonely and Julia untrue to herself and unloyal to her brother. Although Julia distances herself from her brother in their teenage years, she never forgets their bond as children.
Julia, David, and Jerome’s parents are fundamentalist conservative christians that take pride in their harsh parenting methods. Their strict christian beliefs make them think that guiding their children with anger and abuse instead of love will raise good behaved straight cut Men and Woman. David and Jerome experience this abuse and even racism in their own home frequently while Julia is left confused when she solely sent to her room when she does something bad. This instance of parenting is morally unjust, cruel and unfair to the boys. In my opinion, the Scheeres parents make is just insulting to the respect of God. To think they could just adopt 2 African-American children into their family hoping God took notice and then beat them behind closed doors is horrifying. With the method of discipline these young teens face, it is no surprise to me why they struggled to find acceptance and fall into deep depression to the point of self harm. Julia’s mother is super neglectful of her kids also, she cares more about her faith than her children. The kids are aware of this too, making them resentful of their mom. She also remarks that her father had become so consumed by work he’d become a stranger to them, and when they did see him, they resented him too. Julia recalls the lack of care her mother shows to her children growing up in the novel. Its sad to me how out of order her priorities were in that part of her life when her kids were coming of age. Julia writes about a time when her mother threatens her with a mouth full of soap after she uses Gosh, Darn, and Jeez. Mrs. Scheeres was furiated and couldnt believe her daughter was using substitute words for God, Damn and Jesus. I couldnt imagine what she would have done if she actually used the actual word, and used Gods name in vain! And a mouth full of soap is an effective way of teaching her not to use those words, as if soap