Religion in a Contract with God
In Will Eisner’s Graphic Novel, A Contract With God, the use of religion is used in many different ways to convey the character of Frimme Hersh. Eisner employs the use of a myriad of religious parallels that can be seen in his writing. The character of Frimme is one that is best conveyed through religious parallels in this section of this graphic novel.
Eisner allows Frimme Hersh to seem very much like many Jewish religious leaders, and lends his character to many parallels that can be found in religious texts. The fact that Eisner has the ability to show Hersh as a condensed personification of many Jewish figures and stories, including Abraham, Moses, Noah, Sampson, and the men at the tower of Babel; shows not only the extent to what Frimme Hersh is to the culture that Eisner is building in this story, but the ability that Eisner has to adapt and fuse such a great number of people and ideas together in order to create a culture in just one man.
Eisner opens this first story with a direct analogy to the story of Noah. On page 5, Eisner mentions the story of Noah. Starting with this one analogy, Eisner relates his character to his entire religion. Frimme sheds his tears on page 5 because the world as he knew it was ending, just as Noah had to watch the world he knew becomes destroyed. Hersh personifies the story of Noah and the ark. For, Frimme Hersh has lost his daughter and, in essence, the life and world as he knew it. As Frimme Hersh breaks his covenant on page 28, one can also see that the rain start to pour down in reaction. Just as it does in the book of Genesis 6: 5-7, is caused by the breaking of a covenant by man.
Eisner then shows more of his religion almost immediately. As Frimme climbs to the top of his staircase, he argues with God over his contract. Moses does this same thing, in Exodus 32. In an argument with God atop Mount Sinai, Moses argues the validity of his contract with God.
One can also see...