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The Road To Redemption is a Rocky...blah, blah, blah...

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  • The Road To Redemption is a Rocky...blah, blah, blah...

    Ok, so I was reading over this thread and it made think of the various views of redemption.

    I'm not going to bang on too much but which views or attitudes do you agree with and which was favourite redemption story.

    Consider:

    Angel
    The crimes of Angelus, the Angel/Angelus split and of course the spell itself, fair justice or cruel and impractical? Should Angel let it go or is he right to brood into eternity?

    Spike
    Love? Getting a soul? Making up for all past deeds or doing what he believes Buffy wants? Is Spike too glib about the past? Should he reflect upon it more, or is the 'live for the now' approach, more healthy?

    Willow

    Did she get off too easy or is the handling of power punishment enough? She wonders if she should be punished? Is that the way to redemption?

    Faith

    Relate to Angel much? Is it the same situation? Angel and Spike didn't have souls when they did their pleasure killing, is that an excuse? Some other views

    Let us not forget Gunn and what about Connor and Anya? Should they be searching that path?

    Very briefly: Faith is my favourite redemption story mostly because the concept of her redemption rings more true. Like I've said before, judging Angel and Spike on their past crimes becomes difficult but then I suppose we have the question of vampires' natures in general .

    I also believe that Faith's attitude is one of the more heathy attitudes towards dealing a past of murder, allowing for self reflection and empathy, without letting it cripple her etc.

    So what's your view? What does redemption mean to you?

  • #2
    What does redemption mean to you?
    Redemption is the holy grail for people who are looking for forgiveness. And it doesn't matter what those people did or how guilty they feel, if they want to be forgiven and they fight or work for that, there is a chance. But like lots of things, the journey is more important than the end station. Nobody can decide who is redeemed and who has to pay more for his/her sins. And I doubt that someone can be redeemed, people can change their lives but they can't erase the past.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Angel feels guilty, and maybe it's valid and maybe it isn't. But that doesn't make any difference for his journey. It's for his inner peace and it doesn't matter how valid his guilt is. Angel needs this fight to live with himself. And Spike doesn't need it that much, that's also fine. Maybe Spike is right, maybe it's Angel who is right. It doesn't matter, Spike doesn't need redemption (yet) to live with himself and Angel does.

    Wesley, Willow, Gunn and Faith ... they are guilty no matter what. And because they are good people, they need redemption.

    Wesley had a great storyline, very well written and acted. He changed himself. Probably because he hated himself so badly that he decided that changing himself was the best thing to do. In the first episodes of season 5, you see the goofy and shy Wesley again ... grown up, but not the season 4 Wesley. His guilt forced him to be someone else. Is this a good journey for redemption? It isn't in my eyes, Wesley doesn't have the guts the face himself or to really deal with the problems. He runs.

    Willow's redemption storyline is poorly written. The idea was to redeem Willow in 'Chosen'. But it didn't feel earned, also Willow was running for a season and never really payed for, or dealed with what she did.

    Gunn's journey to redemption was a nice one. His story didn't get a lot of time, but he did it all. He felt bad for himself, he faced what he did, he punished himself and after that, he learned of his mistakes and when he returned from hell, he dealed with it. Faith did the same. Both very good journeys.

    Angels journey, valid reasons or not ... is my favourite. I love his journey because Angel falls and stands up again. He felt bad for himself for 100 years, we know that he tried to do some good things but he never had the guts to do it. Angel was like Liam, the boy who ran away from problems, his father, religion etc. never dealing with anything. He faced himself when he drank of a man, he punished himself by eating rats and living at the streets. With some help, he finally dealed with himself and started to really make up for what he did. Angel's story in the 8 seasons we followed him is so beautifully done. In the first season he is running again, Dru is forcing him to tell Buffy what he did to Drusilla and after the whole Angelus arc and the 100 years in hell as another punishment, Angel really starts with his journey. And we see him fall (Darla-arc, killing Drogyn and Lindsay) very deep, but we also see some beautiful things (Holtz-arc, his fight for humanity). His arc shows a man who falls, stands up again and learns ... and sometimes he makes the same mistake again. When you fight for redemption, you're not perfect, you will make mistakes again and you will have new things to feel guilty about.
    Last edited by Nina; 22-03-08, 06:26 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nina View Post
      What does redemption mean to you?
      Redemption is the holy grail for people who are looking for forgiveness. And it doesn't matter what those people did or how guilty they feel, if they want to be forgiven and they fight or work for that, there is a chance. But like lots of things, the journey is more important than the end station. Nobody can decide who is redeemed and who has to pay more for his/her sins. And I doubt that someone can be redeemed, people can change their lives but they can't erase the past.
      I've certainly been accused of having *alternate* points of view and this is no exception. IMHO, redemption is in the mind of the "accused". If you think you have been redeemed, then you probably *have* been. You will use your experiences and ACT like you've been redeemed. The trouble usually starts when, like Angel, you don't think you've ever paid enough for your sins. I *love* Angel, he's one of my fav BtVS characters, but after awhile, his search for redemption sounds very much like whining!

      ------------------------------------------------------

      Originally posted by Nina View Post
      Angel feels guilty, and maybe it's valid and maybe it isn't. But that doesn't make any difference for his journey. It's for his inner peace and it doesn't matter how valid his guilt is. Angel needs this fight to live with himself. And Spike doesn't need it that much, that's also fine. Maybe Spike is right, maybe it's Angel who is right. It doesn't matter, Spike doesn't need redemption (yet) to live with himself and Angel does.
      Exactly my previous argument. Spike considers himself redeemed, so he behaves like it. Angel just continues to whine that what he's done can never be redeemed. Guilt is fine to a point, but beyond that point, it's plain self-indulgence and self-centeredness (I know that's not a word, but it explains the concept I'm reaching for.)

      Originally posted by Nina View Post
      Wesley, Willow, Gunn and Faith ... they are guilty no matter what. And because they are good people, they need redemption.

      Wesley had a great storyline, very well written and acted. He changed himself. Probably because he hated himself so badly that he decided that changing himself was the best thing to do. In the first episodes of season 5, you see the goofy and shy Wesley again ... grwon up, but not the season 4 Wesley. His guilt forced him to be someone else. Is this a good journey for redemption? It isn't in my eyes, Wesley doesn't have the guts the face himself or the really deal with the problems. He runs.

      Willow's redemption storyline is poorly written. The idea was to redeem Willow in 'Chosen'. But it didn't feel earned, also Willow was running for a season and never really payed for, or dealed with what she did.
      But, the events and decision during out lives continue to shape and mold our character as long as we are alive. IMHO, that's what redemption is all about. Many characters have made poor choices or have things to feel *hugely* guilty about - but even when they have been forgiven by others, they need to find forgiveness *for* themselves *inside* themselves!

      Originally posted by Nina View Post
      Gunn's journey to redemption was a nice one. His story didn't get a lot of time, but he did it all. He felt bad for himself, he faced what he did, he punished himself and after that, he learned of his mistakes and when he returned from hell, he dealed with it, learned of his mistakes and tries to make up for his mistakes. Faith did the same. Both very good journeys.
      Exactly! Angel expressed it *perfectly* when he told Faith in Orpheus (maybe not *exact* quote, but close) "Even with a soul, Faith, I've done a thousand things I wish I could take back."

      Originally posted by Nina View Post
      Angels journey, valid reasons or not ... is my favourite. I love his journey because Angel falls and stands up again. He felt bad for himself for 100 years, we know that he tried to do some good things but he never had the guts to do it. Angel was like Liam, the boy who ran away from problems, his father, religion etc. never dealing with anything. He faced himself when he drank of a man, he punished himself by eating rats and living at the streets. With some help, he finally dealed with himself and started to really make up for what he did. Angel's story in the 8 season we followed him is so beautifully done. In the first season he is running again, Dru is forcing him to tell Buffy what he did to Drusilla and after the whole Angelus arc and the 100 years in hell as another punishment, Angel really starts with his journey. And we see him fall (Darla-arc, killing Drogyn and Lindsay) very deep, but we also see some beautiful things (Holtz-arc, his fight for humanity). His arc shows a man who falls, stands up again and learns ... and sometimes he makes the same mistake again. When you fights for redemption, you're not perfect, you will make mistakes again and you will have new things to feel guilty about.
      And most of your examples really don't have *that* much to do with being a vamp, but *everything* to do with the human condition!
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cinderela View Post
        I've certainly been accused of having *alternate* points of view and this is no exception. IMHO, redemption is in the mind of the "accused". If you think you have been redeemed, then you probably *have* been. You will use your experiences and ACT like you've been redeemed. The trouble usually starts when, like Angel, you don't think you've ever paid enough for your sins. I *love* Angel, he's one of my fav BtVS characters, but after awhile, his search for redemption sounds very much like whining!
        To be honest, Angel is healthiest when he's finding meaning in positive humanism. We sometimes get the impression that he's looking for external validation whilst believing it can never be attained. When he looks inward to much, he sometimes regards mankinds negativity and humanity's inhumanity reflects on his own shattered self-image of the broken man.


        Exactly my previous argument. Spike considers himself redeemed, so he behaves like it. Angel just continues to whine that what he's done can never be redeemed. Guilt is fine to a point, but beyond that point, it's plain self-indulgence and self-centeredness (I know that's not a word, but it explains the concept I'm reaching for.)
        To be honest Spike general attitude never bothered and I found it a refreshing dichotomy to Angel's over-analysis of the past. Angel is actually my favourite character and actually relate to his 'non-functional' guilt machine. I do however think Spike stumbled upon his so called revelation in LMPTM. His glib and to be honest, cruel comments about Nikki's proves to me, he either didn't have any regard for the past actions or the attempted to rationalize it in nummy bitesize chunks (most likely the second). His emotional honest was probably at it's peek in Damage. Deservedness is a grey area mostly dependent on the scrutinizer rather than the scrutinized (although that can be the same person).

        Angel's attitude towards Holtz is one I can most identify with.

        But, the events and decision during out lives continue to shape and mold our character as long as we are alive. IMHO, that's what redemption is all about. Many characters have made poor choices or have things to feel *hugely* guilty about - but even when they have been forgiven by others, they need to find forgiveness *for* themselves *inside* themselves!
        It's really about that isn't it. For a champion, I think it's somewhat healthy to look outward as well reflect a little on what the path means to you. I actually think a lot of redemption for the characters is reconciling themselves with their actions. I relate more to Faith's journey in terms of this model as with our soulled vampires, they didn't commit their pleasure killing when they had their souls.

        Exactly! Angel expressed it *perfectly* when he told Faith in Orpheus (maybe not *exact* quote, but close) "Even with a soul, Faith, I've done a thousand things I wish I could take back."
        What I kind of like about Angel, is he'll always try to make things better whether he's responsible or not. The best thing is that his path is becoming more self defined. He isn't the powers champion anymore, he's the champion of the imperfect human condition.

        And most of your examples really don't have *that* much to do with being a vamp, but *everything* to do with the human condition!
        Which concludes what we've been talking about perfectly.

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        • #5
          Redemption to me, boils down to a few key points. One most understand what they've done is wrong, one must feel sorry for what they've done and acknowledge what they?ve done , and generally if one wants to redeem themselves they have to fight for that. To me you need all three things to be redeemed or to work at redeeming yourself.

          Like Kana I identified with Angel most of all, especially in later years. His remorse became unhealthy and it crippled him, but after Buffy and then later getting his own mission it became motivation for him, and became far more healthy. I loved his conversation with Holtz because in a nutshell it explains what Angel is feeling, he's sorry for what he did but he can't change the past, he can only make up for it. Angel feels remorse for his actions, he knows what he's done is wrong and has never denied that, but he also fights to change that because he wants to be redeem himself. To me his attitude is the one I identify with the most, in his own series and in Sunnydale he's not too casual but he isn't crippled by his remorse, to me he's got the perfect blend.

          I felt like hitting Spike with someone wooden and pointy in LMPTM with his "I don't give a piss" remarks about killing Nikki Wood. He shouldn't let it cripple him, but he didn't have the right blend then. It wasn't a game, it was someone's life he ended, and he should give a piss about her. He strikes the right blend at the end of 'Damage.'

          At the start Angel was being drowned by his remorse to the point it was unhealthy, at the start Spike was to cavalier about the whole thing that I think it was also unhealthy, both IMO have got it right now. But admittedly, I'd rather have someone drowning in their remorse over the horrible things they did than being cavalier about it, because at least with the first I can see the impact more, so I'd still find Angel's story more compelling in that regard.

          ~ Banner by Nina ~

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