The Problems With Forgiveness: An Analysis of Literary Works

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Jean Amery's "Resentments" propounds the notion that the problem with forgiveness is that it ultimately frees the sinner, or the one that requires forgiveness, from his or her moral accountability. This notion is similarly echoed in Fyodor Dostoevsky's work of literature The Brothers Karamazov, particularly in the sections entitled "Rebellion" and "The Grand Inquisitor". In these sections of this novel, Ivan poses the viewpoint that to forgive suffering, especially that which takes place on such a grand level as found within the world at large, would be morally unacceptable as well as akin to a tortured man choosing to love and idealize his torturer (Dostoevsky). The principle point of convergence between the problems with forgiveness discussed within these two works emerges largely around the conception of morality. Amery believes that it is morally correct for those who have been violated (such as he was when he was egregiously tortured at the concentration camps in Auschwitz) to hold their subjugators to their actions, and that doing so is one of the only ways in which the subjugators can face the morality (or immorality) of their noxious deeds. He believes that to simply renounce those acts and forget about them (on the part of those who are transgressed) frees the subjugator from accepting the full moral rectitude of his or her crimes. The principle point of variation between these two authors on the problems of foregiveness is that Amery views resisting the urge

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