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Forgive and Forget

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How often have you heard the expression forgive and forget? And why is it important to forgive? Many people have trouble with forgiving. You cannot be truly happy or be free unless you can let go of your anger and hurt. Otherwise, it can be very aggravating and consume you like a disease. Not only will you need to forgive others but, there are many times when you will need to ask for forgiveness as well. In the novel Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, Liz discovers that anything can be forgiven when she forgives the cab driver who causes her death, finally accepts her grandmothers' love and support and when Liz comes second to Owens' newly arrived wife in Elsewhere.

Liz learns that anything can be forgiven when she forgives the cab driver who causes her death. She spends a lot of time watching the cab driver Amadou, from the observation deck. As Lizs' life progresses and her release time is not too far away, Amadou dies and finds Liz in Elsewhere. Liz and Amadou talk amongst each other and Amadou asks Liz if she will ever forgive him for taking her life. She forgives him and Amadou asks how she was able to. She says, "'I've been watching you off and on for years' she says, 'I know you are a good man.'" (Zevin, 266) From watching Amadou from the observation deck, she learns that Amadou is a good man. He has a family who he loves dearly and would do anything for. He is also very courteous and respectable to all of his customers. This is one instance where Liz learns that anything can be forgiven.

Lis also learns that anything can be forgiven when she finally accepts her grandmothers' love and support. From the time Liz gets to Elsewhere, her grandmother Betty, took Liz into her care and had given her the love and support she thought Liz would need in copping with her death. Liz is in denial of her death and feels that her grandmother should just leave her alone. Betty gives Liz money, shelter, food, respect, love, support and welcomed her with open arms. Liz never really appreciates this until she asks Betty for some advice about letting go of her past life. Although she's shy in admitting it when she thanks her and betty says, "'for what?'" (152) she replies with, "'For..' Liz's voice trails off. 'You're really not that bad at this grandmother thing after all' Liz whispers" (152) This is where Liz realizes that Betty has just been trying to help because she cares about her. This is also where Liz asks for forgiveness without really being asked for it.

Liz's biggest challenge and where she starts to realize the most that anything can be forgiven, is when she comes second to Owen's newly arrived wife in Elsewhere. Before Owen came to Elsewhere, he was married to Emily and left her on earth. Emily dies and Owen reunites with her when she gets to Elsewhere. Right before Emily gets to Elsewhere, Liz



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