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This essay reads “The Solemn Boy” as a revision of the biblical tale of Abraham and Sarah. In this revision, however, the aged couple is gifted a son for only one afternoon, after which he is taken away. Nevertheless, Tol and Miss Minnie do not become bitter. By graciously accepting their loss, the couple models the humility that is central to Berry’s thought and that comes, in his estimation, from working the soil. Tol and Miss Minnie are the salt of the earth, and they become such by tilling the earth. Their saintliness is an effect of their agrarianism.