Have you seen any good movies,tv shows, magazines, or books lately that has something to do with the following? Have you seen any famous person go through the following or was one of the following "somebody" and "son": 1). A son redeeming his father. 2). Somebody doing something bad then doing something good to redeem the bad that they have done. 3). Somebody dying for someone else and the person that died feels redeemed. 4). Somebody being useless than later on in the/their story/lives do something useful (The story, their lives)
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Wow. Very cool question. Let me give it a go:
1. A son redeeming his father (can it be a DAUGHTER redeeming her father?), ... I was thinking about Pearl holding Dimmesdale's hand on the scaffold and, consequently, redeeming her father in The Scarlet Letter. (But, yeah, I'm not sure any example could beat that of Luke and Vader in Star Wars.)
2. Somebody doing something bad then doing something good to redeem the bad that they have done: How about the famous incident of dramatic irony in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Huck decided to write a letter turning Jim in, thinking that was the "good" thing to do. Huck finally tears up the letter, vowing to go to hell for Jim. The reader knows that Huck has redeemed himself in that action.
3. Somebody dying for someone else and the person that died feels redeemed: How about Harry Potter's death and return to live in The Deathly Hallows? In my opinion, that action alone makes Harry into a literary Christ figure. Harry has spent his whole life feeling like the entire Voldemort issue is his own fault (for one reason or another), this death and resurrection is his redemption.
4. Somebody being useless, then later on being useful. How about Jewel living homeless in a car on the streets turned into inspirational singing star. How about Daddy Warbucks in Annie growing up poor and, worse, being a mean rich guy, ... and discovering that having someone to share his life with brings true happiness. If I want to get really profound, ... How about Peter denying Jesus' existence only to become the rock on which Christ builds His Holy Church.
If you are looking for recent books and movies, I am not sure I can help you. However there are some classics and not-so-recent examples.
1) Star Wars: By turning his father and helping him destroy the emperor, Luke redeems his father.
2) The Lord of the Rings: Gollum commits all kinds of atrocities, but in destroying the ring he redeems himself.
3) A Tale of Two Cities: Sydney Carton sacrifices himself for the love of his life, Lucie. He feels that he has wasted his life but in saving her husband he redeems himself. I suppose this would also work for 4.
4) There are many examples of this, and it makes me think of the trickster oracle archetype. In this type of story, the trickster pretends to be poor or an old man or woman, and tests the hero. If the hero passes the test (or even if he fails), the oracle reveals himself. An example is in Star Wars also, when Yoda tricks Luke at first into thinking he is a simpleton but later reveals himself to be a Jedi master.
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