Forgiveness in fiction

September 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

After last week’s blog I have been thinking a lot about forgiveness in novels. I must confess I can’t think of too many examples that come to mind in works of fiction.

In non-fiction it is more common. Jeanette pointed out last week about the wonderful book The Hiding Place which tells the true story of the Ten Boom family who lived in Holland during World War II and hid Jews in their house to save them from being taken by the Nazis. Eventually Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsie, were captured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp, where Betsie died. After being released from the camp, Corrie began to preach about forgiving the Nazis and had a great deal of success with that. Then one day she came face to face with one of the guards from her camp and when he held out his hand to shake hers, she hesitated. Finally accepting her need to offer forgiveness on a most personal level, she took his hand. She wrote, “As I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.”

In fiction, forgiveness seems a little harder to find, at least, in the novels I have read. The only example I can think of is in Jane Eyre where Jane offers forgiveness to her dying aunt who had mentally abused her as a child, had told a rich relative that she (Jane) was dead (the relative wanted to leave Jane his fortune) and even on her deathbed, still abused Jane. Jane also needed to forgive Mr Rochester, but she loved and understood him so that seemed more natural. Forgiving her aunt, who she did not like at all, was a different matter

What about you? Have you read a novel where forgiveness is a major theme? What was it?

Facebook Comments