Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hatred and Forgiveness

"In that house, he had loved his mother in a way that could not be surpassed. In it an obscure doubt had crept into his heart. There the first seeds of a strange aversion had been cast into his breast, the aversion of a son for his mother.These seeds were destined to grow and mature until they changed in time into a hatred like a chronic disease." p. 78

"He closed the door of forgiveness and pardon on her and barricaded it with anger and hatred." p.81

Chapter 13 of Palace Walk explores the feelings that one of the main characters, Yasin, has for his estranged mother. He spent his formative years with his mother, who was a divorced woman in a society where divorce alone can condemn a woman to the status of a prostitute. Yasin views women through the prejudices he developed because of his hatred for his mother, but he lusts after them without respite.

I was well along in life before I realized that some men, especially religious men, often blame women for their own lust, as if you can blame the ocean for its waves or the sunset for its beauty. I think the problem here is not the lust, but the guilt that comes from a perverse view of human sexuality. This guilt, this perverse view of right and wrong, can destroy us if we let it. Think of holding on to the kind of hatred Yasin holds on to and of continuing to obsess on it. Whose life is ruined by that hatred? Hating anyone takes so much energy that could be given to life. When you forgive someone, you give yourself a gift.

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