Forgiveness In Jodi Picoult's 'The Storyteller'

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Whose right is it to forgive wrongs against humanity? Do all wrongs deserve forgiveness? In Jodi Picoult’s, The Storyteller, she presents these ethical, religious issues in the setting of one of the most horrific events in history, the massive massacre of over 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany. Picoult’s story challenges the reader to exam the many facets of forgiveness. This paper first outlines the four different stories. Second the paper describes the relationship between Sage, the young girl of Jewish decent, and her friend, Josef. Third, this paper addresses the issue of whether Sage can forgive Josef, who is a former Nazi officer at Auschwitz. Lastly, this paper includes an introspective analysis, allowing the reader to answer the question…show more content…
She feels anger at times, but makes excuses for him and shows compassion too. Josef appears genuine in his remorse at times and tells Sage, Sage feels disgust for him She wants to kill him after he first confesses his crimes to her. Familiar with the process of preparing a body for a funeral, she imagines Josef’s mouth sewn shut and trapping all his secrets in. Her friendship with Josef even makes Sage When paralleling her grandmother’s fictional story of the monster killing villagers to the SS officers destroying families, it makes her hate Josef. (pp.129) Even with those feelings, Sage shows Josef warmth and compassion. When Sage discusses with Leo the reason Josef confessed his wrongdoings to her, she lists the reasons as possible guilt, fear of judgment, or tired of living a lie. (pp.92) She defends him to herself sometimes asking why he does not have the right to reinvent himself. She turns his request into a “dying man’s wish” rather than a “plea of a murderer.” (pp.125) She rationalizes that he is ) She defends him when Leo claims Sage is no more of an individual to Josef than the Jews were to him 65 years ago and says maybe he chose to confess to her because of their friendship. Sage even comforts Josef in the hospital and reaches for his hand, inwardly acknowledging that Josef killed her grandmother’s best

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