Character Redemption

James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

What does redemption mean in literature?

Well… for starters, what does redemption mean, period? The dictionary has two definitions:

  1. 1.
    the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.
    “God’s plans for the redemption of his world”
    synonyms: saving, freeing from sin, absolution
    “God’s redemption of his people”
  2. 2.
    the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.
    synonyms: retrieval, recovery, reclamation, repossession, returnMore

So what does this mean for the characters that we write? Is redemption turning good and working to undo the damage they’ve done? For an evil character to truly be redeemed, must they completely repair the damage that they’ve done? What if the character’s crime is too extreme for them to ever pay it back?

So to answer our original question, we must then also satisfy…

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