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As evidence of his Neoplatonic background, Augustine positions the lustful drives of his adolescence as part of the desire for beauty, and how easily he - and all mankind - are deceived into thinking that this is the only way to obtain and understand beauty. He thinks that if he had been guided into a wise marriage, although he doubts he could have confined sex to procreation he might have learned these things earlier. In this book he also discusses the Manichaeism ideal of celibacy, and quotes scripture to that effect. Augustine's mother Monica admonished him severely to not commit the sin of fornication, and, especially to not commit adultery with another man's wife.

He considered this "womanish advice" and took no notice, but he sees now that these were God's warnings transmitted through his mother. He was not married off because his parents were ambitious, and it was important to make an advantageous marriage that would not have been possible at his young age. Augustine therefore had no checks on his sexual experimentation. Augustine's friends appear to have been typical teenage boys, prone to rebellion and high spirits. He fell in with a group that not only encouraged his exploits, but also made him feel that he needed to invent wrongs that he hadn't committed in order to impress his friends.

One night he and his friends robbed the fruit off a pear tree near Augustine's father's vineyard. They didn't eat the fruit themselves, but rather threw it to the pigs. Augustine examines this pointless act of theft and surmises that adolescents want to do evil things because they do not understand the nature of beauty or goodness.

Augustine asserts that all good and beautiful things on earth are only so because they are part of God. The things of the earth are the lowest on the scale of goodness and beauty; the further up the scale and the more spiritual things become, the nearer they are to God and the more beautiful and good they are. Sins are committed for love or out of the desire for beautiful or good things that are on the lowest end of the scale because that soul does not yet understand that the material things are only part of the beauty and goodness of God.

In the next passage, Augustine explores many of the virtues of his day: pride, ambition, soft endearments, curiosity, simplicity, the desire for a quiet life, abundance, generosity, and excellence are all exposed for the vain human desires that lie at their bottom. God is the fount of all virtue, and Augustine explains that any "virtue" that is not founded in obedience to God is an illusion, and possibly a sin. Augustine goes on to explain that he didn't really want the pears for he had access to better ones , but that he somehow wanted to feast on the wickedness of the theft.

He calls on God to help him inquire into the nature of his pleasure in the theft. He admits that if he had been alone he would not have done it. There was no pleasure in the actual obtaining of the pears, nor did he eat them. Augustine ends Book II with an anguished plea: "Who can untie this extremely twisted and tangled knot?

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The higher things, the things of God, are what he desires now. Word Count: 80, Words Original Text Death allowed himself a small, satisfied smile as he swooped gracefully towards the small girl bleeding on the floor. A moan crawled from her lips, barely audible against the clamour of the outer parking lot. Already purpling nicely, a substantial bruise coloured the edges of her right eye, framing the split on her brow that still trickled a small amount of blood.

Parking Lot. Public toilets. Earl Street. Just a few minutes early, as usual.

Augustine of Hippo confessions – Book 2 Review

Just a time and a place. But there she was, just the same. His favourite little escape artist, a slippery eel of a girl. His own personal Houdini of Death. A million close shaves, but never a result. Not a close shave this time, though. The blood loss was undeniable. Leaching out onto the wet surface it formed a halo of watery crimson radiating from her waist. Running a curious finger around the ragged edges of the rips crisscrossing her stomach, he asked the most inappropriate question he could think of.

Have you got a light? She tried to raise her hand to flip him off, but it flopped into a pool of watery urine, over flown from the toilets. With Suzie's Notes Death allowed himself a small, satisfied smile as he swooped gracefully towards the small girl bleeding on the floor. Interesting that we're in Death's perspective--and he enjoys his job! There are a few too many descriptors in the above paragraph though.

Don't let those weigh you down. And the last clause "framing the split Also I'm not sure "girl" is the right word. The first time I read that I pictured a five year old. By the end I was thinking late teens or twenties. I like this bit of worldbuilding and characterization for Death. It's concise but it also tells us a lot.


I like these details, but If Dead just gets a time and a place and shows up for a guaranteed dead body, how does he know this girl and how has she escaped him? It's a minor thing, but it suggests an inconsistency or a whole in the worldbuilding right at the beginning. Now, an important question. Is Death the protagonist of this story or no?

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Obviously were this a query, I'd probably know. I'm a little creeped out about him running a finger around the rips of her stomach, and I don't want my protagonist to creep me out like that. But if I'm supposed to be creeped out, good job! And again, I crossed out some extra words.

Awful image but good to close this section. What a way to leave me hanging! Based on this, I'm intrigued and would keep reading to see where this goes. I am wondering if she's inside or outside. The stress on the parking lot earlier had made me think outside. If she's inside, maybe just say Public toilets. This after the whole kerfuffle when she picked, then un-picked his first, The Corrections, way back when. Not sure what this means? Is it about forgiveness?

Closure in her last season? Can we look forward to Tom Cruise un-jumping the couch, too? Or, um, the year before. Which way will this one go?

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Stay tuned. The weather is just so wild here right now. Like two different days in different seasons, all in the same 24 hrs. I am peeling layers all day, putting them back on as the sun goes down. September: make up your mind.

All this wardrobing is exhausting me. Yes, I am THAT mom, who stands on the upper floor like a stalker watching the children as they run around the playground. But honestly, I think I need to do this to remind myself that she does have a life without me. Like happy and sad all at once.

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Of course I want her to be independent, but I also want her to need me, you know, forever. Oh, God, listen to me. Finally, my publisher sent me an early-not-even-in-stores-yet copy of the new Sarah Dessen Box Gift Set, which will be available next month, I believe. But maybe my heart is just locked? But the heart thing, it might be that too. You never know…. Are they rhetorical?

But here they are anyway:. MTV, you win. Last season they were at least unknowns and pretty much just hurting each other. But the way the guys are treating women down in Miami, and talking about women? Not good, folks.