Chick's Broken Family

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To begin, forgiveness is only acquired when all members recognize the honest existence of their shared mishap. Firstly, when Chick Benetto becomes an alcoholic upon losing his job and his mother, he exploits alcohol as a defense mechanism to avoid accepting the validity of his problem. In his case, this is substance abuse. Eventually, this leads to the dismemberment of Chick’s young family. More specifically, his wife, Catherine, and daughter, Maria, cannot overcome, nor forgive Chick’s addiction to alcohol. Resultantly, Chick and Catherine divorce because of his alcoholism and due to his inability to face his own problems. Evidently, Chick recalls how Maria does not invite him to her wedding, “Apparently, through my drinking, depression, and …show more content…

Both sides feel betrayed, resulting in their inability to forgive each other because Chick does not address his alcoholism head on. A definite common ground between every individual is vital in order to attain forgiveness, and it is this relational unity that is missing in Chick’s family that prevents them from forgiving one another. Comparatively, a persecutor in the 1963 Rivonia trial named Percy Yutar, fights against Nelson Mandela to have him sentenced for life imprisonment. However, thirty two years later, Mandela forgives this man because Yutar and Mandela are both understanding enough to be able to come to terms with the facts of the their shared personal hardships. This is clear as Yutar is characterized as, “Renowned for his flamboyant and aggressive courtroom manner, and his flowery use of language… In court, Yutar accused the defendants of telling lies to the world that Africans in South Africa were oppressed; the truth, he said, was that they were peaceful, law- abiding and loyal” (cite). Subsequently, in 1976, when Yutar is asked about his actions in court, he rues, “I have my conscience to live with” …show more content…

‘But he was my father’” (cite). Likewise, Mandela’s behaviour in jail transforms, “When Mandela had gone to jail, he had been ‘one of the most angry...the suffering of those twenty seven years helped to purify him’ Jail helped Mandela learn how to make enemies into friends” (cite). Then, the occurrence of forgiveness is established when Mandela invites Brand to his celebratory dinner to honour his twentieth anniversary since his release from prison and when Mandela grants Brand’s son a scholarship during his time as president. To clarify, both parties swallow their pride and accept their realities; Brand accepts that Mandela can offer him wisdom just as Mandela surrenders to his fate. Thus, both individuals maximize their time together and recognize the beautiful outcome of their unfortunate reality, which allows Mandela to forgive the man who keeps him behind bars for numerous years. Had Brand never opened himself up to Mandela or if Mandela remained bitter in his cell, their friendship would never form and forgiveness would never be achieved. Thus, it is the honest recognition of their own reality in a shared unfortunate scenario that allows both Brand and Mandela to move on and reconcile

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