Bunky 'A Father's Forgiveness' By Richard Wagameses

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A Father’s Forgiveness: How Archetypes Can Affect How A Character Forgives Understanding and wisdom are key aspects of forgiveness. In literature, archetypal god-teachers and father figures possess these traits, which allow them to overcome hardships and be able to forgive. In Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese, the characteristics of a god-teacher and the traits of a father figure allow a character who possesses these attributes to overcome grief and anger to progress in their internal strength. This leads to acceptance of past wrongs, ultimately paving way for forgiveness. The character of Bunky is able to forgive Eldon for having an affair with his lover and for later contributing to the circumstances of her death, and is only able …show more content…
In a story, the god-teacher is also often shown as a father figure who implements the necessity of compassion. In the Medicine Walk, the character of Bunky is portrayed as both a god-teacher and a father figure to the character of Franklin, and these traits allow him to be as forgiving as he is suggested to be. Characteristics of a god-teacher include understanding and knowledge, which both lead to forgiveness of the issue being dealt with at the time. This can be understood when Bunky forgives Eldon for having an affair with his lover, Angie. When he finds out that this had been happening behind his back, he says, “Ya stole my love, … Ya broke my damn heart. But I can learn to live with that” (Wagamese 213). While he was angry that a close friend had betrayed him in the way Eldon does, he demonstrates understanding towards the relationship, forgiving Eldon. Furthermore, another characteristic of a god-teacher is the ability to turn grief derived from a loss of innocence into forgiveness. After Angie’s death, Bunky utilizes his grief, using it to find the power to forgive Eldon, who was largely responsible for Angie’s death in the first place. Bunky tells Eldon that Angie had made him better (Wagamese 230), and instead of turning his grief into violence towards Eldon, he diverts his …show more content…
Franklin, the secondary protagonist, shows this through the inheritance of fatherly characteristics and the traits of a god-teacher from Bunky. Franklin’s fatherly role towards Eldon leads to forgiveness of his father’s absence during his childhood, showing strong internal strength that is a key aspect of a fatherly figure. Franklin mentions that Bunky is the one who taught him everything he knows (Wagamese 140), which includes how to deal with anger and disappointment, and this is clear when he tells Franklin, “Ya got heart is all. No shame in that. … But ya got to move through it” (Wagamese 138). After Eldon’s death, Franklin uses that knowledge to deal with the grief, and manages to forgive Eldon’s shortcomings (Wagamese 238). Being fatherly towards Eldon in his last days shows Franklin’s internal strength, and that strength leads to forgiveness of his father’s absence in his

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