America: God, Gold, and Golems Literary Elements

America: God, Gold, and Golems Literary Elements


Graphic novels, historical fiction

Setting and Context

Cane Ridge, Kentucky, 1801 ("The Revival"); Solomon's Gulch, Idaho, early 1900s ("Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight"); and various states in America, including Michigan, 1921 ("The Golem's Mighty Swing")

Narrator and Point of View

As this is a graphic novel, the readers watch as the characters go about their lives. In that sense, the novels are third-person omniscient, but "The Golem's Mighty Swing" has a narrator, so that story could perhaps be considered first-person limited as well as third-person omniscient.

Tone and Mood

Straightforward, sobering, blunt

Protagonist and Antagonist

In "The Revival," the protagonists are Joseph and Sarah Bainbridge, a Christian married couple journeying to Cane Ridge for the revival. There is no real antagonist except for the cruelty of the world and Sarah's self-delusion.

Major Conflict

The major conflict of "The Revival" is the attempt of Joseph and Sarah to bring their recently deceased daughter, Emma, to the preacher Elijah Young, who they hope will bring Emma back from the dead.


When they present Emma to Elijah, he declares that she will not rise again until Judgment Day. Upon hearing this, Sarah grabs her daughter back and furiously screams at God to bring her back, but to no avail. Sarah breaks down crying and just holds her dead daughter.


In "Hundreds of Feet Below Ground," when Ricks doesn't complete his simile saying how fast he's going to leave town when he gets his money, it's a foreshadowing of the fact that he will never actually get his money.


"Skinny's no spring chicken." - Willy, "Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight"


These graphic novels, as historical fiction, allude to many real-life events and people, such as the Cane Ridge Revival of 1801 in Kentucky, as well as the American Gold Rush and the phenomenon of baseball in the early twentieth century in America.


Most of the action in "The Revival" takes place at the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky in the year 1801. Accordingly, there are many scenes of ecstatic exultations of Christian themes, such as God's goodness and the miracles of the blood of Jesus. There is also imagery present of crippled children being healed, people speaking in tongues, and others barking like dogs in the spiritual heat of the moment, all of which combine to form a compelling image of a Protestant Revival at the beginning of the nineteenth century.


Sarah and Joseph Bainbridge make the long journey to Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in order to ask Elijah Young to bring their daughter back from the dead. He, however, does not do so, seemingly making their entire trip meaningless.


When the Jewish baseball players pray in "The Golem's Mighty Swing," there is a sudden rainstorm that saves their lives. This event parallels that of Elijah in 1 Kings, where he prays and God sends rain to deliver the world from the drought just in time.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

"Those Jews better be sharp – Tyler's got his good stuff today." - Unnamed baseball player, "The Golem's Mighty Swing"


"My knees are grateful I get to walk around the bases." - Noah Strauss, "The Golem's Mighty Swing"

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