The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

by

Simon Wiesenthal

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The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness: Herbert Marcuse Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Marcuse thinks that he would have acted in the way that Simon did. He believes that one should not be able to murder and then simply ask and receive forgiveness. He concludes simply that easy forgiveness simply perpetuates the very crime it aims to alleviate.
Marcuse, who is Jewish, also agrees with Simon’s decision not to forgive, but for a less common reason: what Martin E. Marty refers to in the next response as “cheap grace.” Marcuse’s worry that easy forgiveness diminishes the seriousness of crimes, particularly those as severe as mass murder, and devalues the lives they destroy.
Themes
Religion and Moral Truth Theme Icon
Anti-Semitism and Dehumanization Theme Icon