Is it important to give your characters redemption in their stories, however flawed they are.

Philosopher's reply

Dear Garo,

No, Good novels help us grasp profound truths. The possibility of redemption is of deep moral importance, so novels must be honest about it. And the truth is, redemption must be earned, not given.

If every character is redeemed, we lie about the nature of redemption.

Best wishes, Nick Wiltsher

Philosopher's profile

Nick Wiltsher

Uppsala University, Sweden

Murdoch thinks that literature has an irreplaceable role in articulating moral and philosophical truths, and that those truths are difficult and complicated. Those are easy principles to agree with, but hard ones to stand by in practice; I admire her for always writing in accordance with them.

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