The first chapter of the book “The Abstinence Teacher” introduces that reader to the controversy facing the sex education teacher Ruth Ramsey and to her colleagues as well as the changing environment in the school. We learn that she is about to be sued by the parents of one of her students.
Gregory and Randall have a relationship that is most successful in the book. The two gay men are therefore the symbol of sexual freedom which the community is trying to curtail by introducing a curriculum that is restrained and tightened against the community perceived sexual immorality.
Paul and Ruth share a dislike for the coffee that is served in the school. Ruth is also freer with him because he is gay and he is portrayed in the book as a sympathetic listener.
Tim was an addict who is struggling to lead a narrow path and straight life the Tabernacle evangelical church is therefore important since it provides him with rigid guidelines that help him keep away from his former lifestyle.
Tim gave up his earlier lifestyle of rock 'n' roll sex and drugs and became a faithful Christian. However he has occasional slip-ups which imply that he still has not completely left those things to completely embrace his new faith.
Ruth’s conflict her two daughters conflict with her daughters is a result of their going to church and embracing Christianity. Her conflict with Eliza is also as a result of Eliza’s strong faith.
Tim’s visited Ruth in order to apologize to her he was also aware they first encounter in the field had evoked feeling of attraction. Therefore he was hoping to find out whether she felt the same way.
Tim went to the bar because he was having second thoughts about his faith .He also was getting frustrated with his life and having doubts whether he made the right choice by becoming a members of the Tabernacle evangelical church.
Tim went to Ruth’s house because he was attracted to her and was begging to fall love with her. He was also starting to question some the rigid teachings especially on sex that the Tabernacle evangelical church was advocating and expected their members to follow.
Perrotta tried to derive the message of sexual freedom through the Paul and his partner .Although they are gay they are portrayed in the book as having the only successful relationship. The author also tried to portray Ruth’s progressiveness through her friendship with the gay couple signifying that she accepts them.
Perrotta in this chapter tries to portray how humans are imperfect. Tim though married and a saved member of the church is attracted to another woman other than his wife and is lustful. These are sins according to the bible yet he likes his fellow believers are hypocritical when it comes to sex education. On the other hand Ruth a sexual liberated woman is the perfect picture of abstinence which she does not believe in.
Tim’s crisis was as a result of begging doubts in his faith and the teachings of the Tabernacle evangelical church. Going back to his wife would signify him overcoming his doubts and embracing his faith.
Ruth in this chapter is unsatisfied with her life she is attracted to a man who prescribes to a religious faith that she can not stand. She is also forced to teach a rigid curriculum that does not reflect her belief of arming the teens with knowledge on sex in order to empower them.
Perrotta is trying to derive home the point that the new evangelical religious churches over embrace religion and in the process cause intolerance. This is portrayed when Tim leads his team in prayers in public ignoring the fact that there are other religions that are followed. The also overreact as show when they try to sue Ruth and the education board for her comments.