My students turned in response papers to the novel of Norwegian author Amalie Skram a few days ago, and I am now grading them. One of my students has decided the entire novel is an indictment against Christianity, and that Skram is declaring deep, forgiving, understanding love is impossible.

I obviously did a very bad job teaching this novel.

But it is always hard to know how much to try to give the students life lessons, when I like to think my goal is to give them critical thinking skills, and not to tell them what to think. But in this regard, I did feel the need to gently suggest to the student she was mistaken.

There is a difference between selfish love--love that is demanding and unforgiving and self righteous--and unselfish love, that thinks first and foremost of the well-being of their partner.

It was that latter sort of love that Skram's character never learned. 


Popular posts from this blog

Dett í, ofan á, úr, út

Icelandic Provisions

The sky weeps