Choosing Destiny

Throughout life, one will encounter many ups, downs, highs and lows. It\'s quite obvious that some will handle the downs and lows better than others. These problems can range anywhere from something serious such as family conflicts, or it may be something foolish like laundry issues. Others find that their lows in life are due to the fact that they face the same daily obstacles, and tend to get annoyed with the repetition behind them. Life all of a sudden seems to have no particular meaning, and a person begins to feel worthless. Life in itself is repetitive, however a person can only take so much until they begin to need a serious modification.
The concept stated above is demonstrated in A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence and The Book of Eve by Constance Beresford-Howe. In A Jest of God, Rachel is deprived of a fulfilling lifestyle mainly because of the limits she is placed under by her mother. Day in, and day out, Rachel is living a confined life and feels there is no possibility of changing it. Her sister Stacey has married and moved away and Rachel is the only support her mother has. Rachel feels obliged to provide and care for her. After her affair with Nick Kazlik, Rachel begins to have a different outlook on life and therefore decides to change it drastically. In The Book of Eve, Eve is restricted to some of life\'s simple things such as going out for walks. Her husband Burt is afraid of fire and resents being left alone even for short intervals. After Eva decides to leave, she experiences a whole new lifestyle. Eva now has enough time to go out for strolls, \'shop\', and is still left with too much time in which to contemplate her situation. In each novel it\'s evident that the protagonists are getting fed up with their lives and are taking matters into their own hands.
In A Jest of God the protagonist is Rachel, a thin, tall, lanky teacher in the town of Manawaka. Rachel lives with, supports and cares for her mother despite her somewhat negative feelings towards her. Rachel\'s sister Stacey does not care to visit her mother, and clearly does not have any intentions of attending to her medical needs. Therefore, Rachel is left with an awfully irritating mother who criticizes and controls her life wherever, and whenever she gets the opportunity to do so. At the age of thirty-four, Rachel is unmarried and living with her mother. Her life revolves mainly around her grade one class at the school she teaches, and her wonderful mother. She doesn\'t exactly associate with many people except for Calla, a teacher at her school and Willard Sidley, the principal of the institution.
Rachel rarely goes out except for the occasional movie with Calla. Calla frequents a local Tabernacle, and quite often invites Rachel to go along. However, she does not feel comfortable attending such a place and rarely agrees to going. Willard also invites Rachel to dinner with his wife and a friend, but Rachel doesn\'t necessarily appreciate their company and declines the offer. As a result of her ordinary life, Rachel begins to long for something different, particularly a husband.
The person to thank for Rachel\'s change is Nick Klazik. He comes into her life as a wake up call! As Rachel\'s sexual affair with Nick becomes more intense, the reader notices a significant change in Rachel\'s outlook on life. Until Nick came along, she kept more to herself and thought of nothing more than living a day to day humble life. However, Nick brought out the best in her and it\'s clear that Rachel\'s ideas about her future begin to change drastically, particularly regarding children. Rachel mentions quite often her studies of babies and their mothers. Rachel will speak of a baby and automatically give reference to a book she read regarding the same topic. For the first time, Rachel feels loved and begins to consider marriage and a family. For Rachel, the only family she has is her mother. She has no sense of having something of her \'own\', such as a husband and children. Nick has been the change in Rachel\'s life. He was the one responsible for