I found the Go Tell it on the Mountain connections to the Bible to be interesting. The connection to John and Elizabeth from the Bible proves a similar relationship in that the mother and son share in the Bible is an interesting comparison as well. John was a gift from the angel Gabriel, to Elizabeth who is an older woman and should not be able to have any more children. Yet, in the book, the story is slightly different.
John was born of shame. John, a child who did not ask to be born, was born out of wedlock to a mother who tried her best to raise him. I believe that the decision to marry Gabriel is the last chance she has to live a life of hope. Yet, I also find this interesting because in the Bible, Gabriel is meant to be giving Elizabeth a gift and yet in Go Tell It…, Gabriel is the one who hates John the most. John, who could resemble John the Baptist is seen as the Devil incarnate through Gabriel’s eyes. Yet, John is meant to be this bright star who tells the word of God throughout the Bible, he preaches about Jesus and spreads the Good Word throughout the nation.
I think that the reason Elizabeth and John were named this was because of the stories in the Bible. It is a beautiful story about a gift from God, which is how Elizabeth viewed John at least in the end. Yet, he was not viewed as that by everyone. As well, as the fact that John was reborn at the end of the book. This to me, solidified him with the identity of John the Baptist. He was finally able to be viewed by others as he felt to his core. AS though he was one with God and that is what mattered the most to him.