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What are some examples of redemption in literature?

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To be redeemed or achieve redemption, a person must see the folly of their ways and decide to change. A redeemed person has been transformed.

Perhaps the classic story of redemption is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. There, Scrooge changes from being a hardened, mean, miserly, reclusive misanthrope to a person of warmth and generosity. This occurs because a series of ghosts reawaken his emotions and compassion.

In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, Marianne learns to repent of her over emotionalism. She is redeemed when she recovers from a serious illness and learns to value Colonel Brandon. She had first rejected him, but now she see the wisdom of marrying this older, stable, kindly man who loves her.

In Oscar Wilde's short story "A Canterville Ghost," the ghost is redeemed through the intercession of the pure Virginia. The ghost, Sir Simon, had murdered his wife, but after Virgina prays for him, he is able to go to his final rest and find peace.

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wordprof eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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A major theme in literature, redemption is the salvation of a soul that is lost, usually from human error, such as greed or lust, but also from the devil’s interference in the salvation process.  The revealing signs of redemption literature are a protagonist whose earthly life is sinful to the point of damnation, and a beautiful soul or force, often in the form of an innocent girl, whose actions turn the protagonist’s life around.  The most famous and universally accepted example is Faust, the story of a man’s redemption from damnation by the intervention of a loved one (Margaret); a rather more subtle and indirect example is Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, in which a murderer and thief is redeemed by God’s grace.   Other less obvious examples of "redemption" might be Casonova and even Don Quixote.

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