Monday, September 24, 2012

True Grit, by Charles Portis


An excerpt of a review posted on Schaeffer's Ghost:
Still, for all [Mattie's] bible thumping and “moral” behavior, there does not appear to be much evidence of grace in her life. Her quest for Chaney, though in her eyes merely the pursuit of justice, is vengeance, plain and simple. Sure, she wants to bring him back so the law can punish him for his crime. But if she can’t, she’ll shoot him where he stands. And when La Beouf tries to convince her that it’s all the same whether Chaney stands trial for her father’s murder or for the murder of another man, Mattie is adamant that Chaney be punished—and know he is being punished—for killing her father. Her passion is not for justice, but for revenge. She is perfectly willing to let other, more culpable individuals go free; her only concern is Chaney. The others have not wronged her personally, so she doesn’t much care one way or another whether they are brought to justice. But Chaney has wronged her family, so Chaney must pay. Even when Mattie experiences the high cost of vengeance, she remains utterly convinced that she did the right thing. Personal forgiveness is never even mentioned as a possibility. She speaks about the grace of God, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the way she lives her life.
Full review available here.

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