Clare Wald's 'Absolution': An Analysis

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The meaning of absolution is “the formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment” and “ecclesiastical declaration that a person's sins have been forgiven”. So what would one have to do to obtain absolution? In a religious light, with regards to the Roman Catholic Church, “is an integral part of the Sacrament of Penance” The penitent makes a sacramental confession of all mortal sins to a priest and prays an act of contrition, a Christian prayer genre that expresses sorrow for sins. The priest then assigns a penance and imparts absolution in the name of the Trinity, on behalf of Christ Himself, using a fixed sacramental formula. When one comes to terms with their wrongs and obtains absolution, they will come to terms with what they have done and their conscious is eased by knowing that what they have done has been repented for, and forgiven.…show more content…
Her feelings of guilt are caused by many things; “the betrayal of her sister” when Clare “let slip” Nora and her brother in-law, Stephan’s location to anti-apartheid activists, resulting in their murder. Because of this Clare considers herself “as guilty of something like criminal negligence, or if not negligence, then recklessness… with information that endangered those lives.” In her novel, Absolution, the book inside the book, Clare attempts to accomplish a “self-exorcism” to ride herself of her guilt and to justify betraying her sister so she can feel like it was the correct thing to do at the time. We the readers also discover that she had confessed her wrongs to her son, Mark, to try persuade him to say if she “deserves amnesty, if, her actions, truly had political motivation, or if she did it out of spite”. her public and private confessions are a way for Clare to unburden herself and gain relief from her guilt regarding Nora and Stephan’s
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