Reflections on the Willingness to Forgive Characters

For me, and I think most people taking this course, Rosie is the character that stuck out most to me and caused me to think about the readings more than anything else. But it is not just the morality of her story but how I and everyone else reacted to her. Someone in our class pointed out that we are very quick to shame her for what she did but overlook the questions of why a 10 year old is comfortable doing the things she did or how she has learned that kind of behavior. I agree those are important things to look at and once you consider them Rosie becomes slightly more sympathetic but the argument arose in contrast to the Super and how he was being given more forgiveness at the end of the story despite the horrible things he had done. But I personally had not forgiven him and while I do not think he deserved to die it does not make me change my opinion of him. Instead I compared how I viewed Rosie to how I felt about the dog.

The Super’s dog was shown to be aggressive but yet I was very upset that anyone would harm an animal and felt it was unwarranted as she was angry with the Super. I blame the dog’s aggressive behavior on his owner because he was taught to act that way. Rosie is only 10 years old and is very much influenced by the adults in her life so why am I less willing to forgive her actions? Of course she is human and is capable of higher thought but she is so young. She, like the dog, has been taught either by her aunt or just her environment to behave this way. I do not think it is acceptable what she did and it more bothers me that she seems to have a lack of guilt about the Super’s suicide but instead of writing her off as a lost cause I choose to think of it the way I did the dog; I hope once she is away from whatever influenced her to become this way that she will improve as a person.

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