Rocket Boys

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Reverend Josiah Lanier Character Analysis

Reverend Josiah Lanier is the preacher for Coalwood’s main church, which is owned by the same mining company that dominates town life. Lanier is instrumental in convincing the town of Coalwood—and Homer Hickam Sr.—to support Homer and the BCMA in their rocketing endeavors— he delivers a sermon in which he encourages families to support their children’s dreams. Sadly, Lanier is forced to leave Coalwood in the aftermath of a particularly brutal union strike.
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Reverend Josiah Lanier Character Timeline in Rocket Boys

The timeline below shows where the character Reverend Josiah Lanier appears in Rocket Boys. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Coalwood
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The company church is presided over by Reverend Josiah Lanier , a Methodist. Whenever there is a new Reverend, Homer recalls, the religious denomination of... (full context)
Chapter 7: Cape Coalwood
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Homer’s family attends Sunday church service. Homer sits with O’Dell and Sherman. The preacher, Reverend Lanier , gives a sermon about a disobedient child who caused his father great pain. Lanier... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...thinks that his father looks vaguely disgusted with him, but he wonders if he’s taken Reverend Lanier ’s sermon to heart. In the car, Homer does fairly well with his driving lessons.... (full context)
Chapter 10: Miss Riley (Auks IX-XI)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...that he comes to believe that math is a “message from God.” He goes to Reverend Lanier , hoping to tease out his complicated thoughts. When he explains himself to Lanier, Lanier... (full context)
Chapter 21: Zincoshine: Auks XXII, A, B, C, and D
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...so, and the property sale proceeds. Reverend Richard manages to pay for his church, but Reverend Lanier loses his job—because he works for the company, he’s dismissed from his position. No one... (full context)