Machete Season

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3) Discuss the idea of forgiveness and guilt in Machete Season. In your paper, analyze how the men discuss the idea of guilt how they understand the concept of forgiveness.
Consider: How do different men in the group understand guilt and forgiveness?
Do the men feel guilt? Are you surprised by their sense/lack of guilt? Why are you surprised? How does Hatzfeld treat this topic?

Philosopher Paul Ricoeur posed the question, how “can one forgive someone who does not admit his guilt?”(Hatzfeld 195) Whether this admission of guilt is enough to be forgiven or not, the “sincere” taking of responsibility for one’s actions is an absolute minimum in striving for forgiveness. Ricoeur’s question becomes especially relevant when discussing the
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As Hatzfeld describes, these apologies are in many ways a “selfish act” because it facilitates the “diminishing of his offence and, thus, his punishment, even his guilt”(199). This is made clear in many of the interviews when discussing forgiveness, as the conversation often shifts to the discussion of the prisoners own problems such as Fulgence’s “shivery”(157) when thinking of his “prison future”, Elie’s dreams void of “the killed people”(162) but rather consisting of a return to his “house”, and Pio’s desire to “assuage my memory”(160). Asking for forgiveness becomes a means to getting out of prison sooner, returning to family and friends sooner, and finally, to ease their own nightmares rather than concern for the victim’s own families, futures, and mental states. Comments like “He asked for forgiveness of everyone at his trial, and he still got a heavy sentence”(203) reflect the naïve and selfish attitude these killers have, not understanding the “extraordinary effort”(199) needed to forgive such horrific crimes.
This selfishness is also reflected in to whom they are addressing, the next weakness in the sincerity of their apologies. Rather than asking the victims for forgiveness, the most effected by their actions, many of these prisoners seem to be more worried about receiving forgiveness from God, and protecting their own futures. Fulgence epitomizes this attitude when he claims that the
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