Forgiveness In Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild, And The Secret Life Of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd

1321 words - 6 pages

Forgiveness
As strong, independent, self-driven individuals, it is not surprising that Chris McCandless and Lily Owens constantly clashed with their parents. In Jon Krakauer’s novel, Into the Wild, Chris was a twenty-four-year-old man that decided to escape the materialistic world of his time for a life based on the simplistic beauty of nature. He graduated at the top of his class at Emory University and grew up in affluent Annandale, Virginia, during the early 1980’s. In The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Lily was a fourteen-year-old girl who grew up in the 1960’s, a time when racial equality was a struggle. She had an intense desire to learn about her deceased mother. Her nanny, ...view middle of the document...

Chris demonstrates inconsistencies of forgiveness in the other relationships of his life. Chris looked over the inconsistencies of his favorite authors and the differences between their writings and actual practices. In another instance, Krakauer states that, “He was also able to forgive, or overlook, the shortcomings of his literary heroes…Like many people, Chris apparently judges artists and close friends by their work, not their life, yet he was temperamentally incapable of extending such lenity to his father” (Krakauer 122). Chris, in a nutshell, does everything to the extreme. His extremes extend from school to work, morals, to relationships. Therefore, it is not surprising that Chris based his philosophies off his favorite authors, specifically Jack London and Tolstoy. London was a fat drunk who died by his own hand; Tolstoy was a father of at least thirteen, who at the same time, wrote against the evils of sex. These authors were complete opposites of what their literary works depicted. The fact that it was easy for Chris to ignore his favorite authors’ mistakes but found it impossible to look past, or even forgive, his own fathers, shows not only the different “standards” (inconsistencies) he holds for his father, but also his unrealistic view of life.
Similar to Chris, Lily has trouble forgiving her father. Unable to forgive herself for accidently killing her mother, Lily lives with regret and resentment toward her father. Her father, whom she calls by his first name, T-Ray, is extremely protective and uses harsh measures of punishment. T-Ray is not proactive in their relationship and Lily mistakes this for him not caring or loving her. However, she never stops to think about what her mother’s death had done to him and how it had changed him. She is too focused on the impact it caused her to consider his feelings. Lily’s memory of her mother, Debra, is vague and she tries to learn more about her from T-Ray. T-Ray tells Lily that Debra abandoned her and that when she eventually came back, it was to get her things, not Lily (Kidd). With this information, Lily decides that he is lying and that her mother would have never done that – thereby corrupting the perfect image she had of her mother. She holds an incredible amount of anger towards her father, based on her perception of him not loving her and the “lies” he says about Debra – both major factors for her escaping and her unwillingness to forgive.
In order for Lily to forgive her father, she has to find out the truth. Lily finds out the truth from August, the woman she stays with when she escaped. August says that Debra did leave her and T-Ray, but when she arrived, she was extremely depressed and not in the right state of mind. After six...

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