Forgiveness in Despereaux

One of the hardest things, I have found, is to forgive the people who have wronged us in some way. There is a scene where Despereaux comes face to face to his father after his father has sentenced him to death. Despereaux has run from the kitchen and is covered in flour making him look like a ghost. He interrupts the Mouse Counsel and his father is there. Despereaux has only been in the dungeon for perhaps a few days but his father has aged many years in that time. His father realized the sin he committed when he sent Despereaux to the rats. He asks Despereaux for his forgiveness. In that moment, Despereaux had to make a big choice that would affect the rest of his life. He could choose to forgive or not forgive his father. He decided to forgive him and by doing that Despereaux was able to heal his heart.

Another character who had a choice where he could have decided to forgive or not forgive, and that character is Roscuro. Roscure is very unusual for a rat because he sought the light and he did not delight in the suffering of others. He wanted something different from the other rats. He went to the human banquet one night because he was attracted to it. He was watching from a chandelier when Princess Pea saw him. She told everyone that she could see him. Roscure lost his balance and fell into the queen’s soup. The queen dies of fear. Roscure is so humiliated by everything that happened he vowed revenge against Princess Pea. He got his revenge by using Mig to force Princess Pea in the dungeon. Despereaux goes into the dungeon after them to rescue the Princess. In the end, what saves the Princess is her ability to feel empathy for others. She feels empathy for Roscuro and asks him to come with them. That they would share soup with him. Roscuro accepts. His heart is healed by this but it is healed crooked. Roscuro is struck in between being a rat and something else.

What I liked about this story is the fact that it was solved by forgiveness. Despereaux is able to become the knight he wanted to be by recognizing the pain his father caused him and letting it go. The Princess accepted the rat and gave him what he needed to heal. It was not solved by Despereaux fighting Roscuro but Roscure being offered a second chance. I think that this is a lesson children (and adult) need to learn is the importance of forgiveness. That it not only helps the person who is forgiven but the person who forgives.

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