Unattainable Absolution

Absolution seems unattainable for any of the characters in Kind One, but especially Ginny. Despite the presence of the church and Bible throughout the story, forgiveness of the self or others appears to be impossible. This is obvious on page 131 when Lucious told Sue/Ginny that he would have rescued her from whatever situation if only he had known. To this, Ginny told him: “I had been down in hell and that hell was not a place you left no matter how far you hauled your bones away from it” (132). She is incapable of accepting Lucious’ kindness because she felt that she did not deserve it. This is also evident in the baptism scene. As the minister spoke his words about salvation and dunked Ginny into the water, the water “walked away” and she came up dry (99). Going back to the four phases that are included in a slavery narrative, Ginny is incapable of obtaining freedom. Even though she suffers under Zinnia and Cleome, receiving the punishment for her sins, she cannot be absolved of her guilt. She believes her actions have damned her and she accepts that.

Religion plays a significant role in this novel, but it does not have any real effect on the characters. This can be summed up in Linus Lancaster not allowing Ginny to read any other book but the Bible, and yet he does not have one in his house. Although the characters may read the Bible or attend church, they still do terrible things.

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