KeatingLiterature and Composition 2022 October, 2017Themes in Literature: Parent and Child Relationships.
A parent’s love for their child is one of the strongest bonds in the world. A parent loves, forgives, and sacrifices for their children constantly. In The Shack there are three parent and child relationships that show these qualities, Mack with his daughter Missy, Mack’s father and Mack, and Papa, also known as God, with Mack. Mack and God are constantly forgiving, sacrificing for, and loving their children.
They don’t think twice about their decisions too. Mack and Papa just follow their hearts, which is telling them to protect and love their children.A parent’s love for their child is eternal. Mack struggles with Missy’s death, and will never truly get over it. We see this by Mack not being able to even refer to Missy by her name because of the pain it causes him, so he says “the great sadness” to describe his pain of her gone.
This is shown in the book when it says “The Great Sadness had draped itself around Mack’s shoulders like some invisible but almost tangibly heavy quilt” (Young p. 27). It also shows that Mack will always love Missy when they bury her in his garden, where the garden symbolizes his soul. ” ‘We have the perfect place prepared for her body,’ Sarayu said, sweeping past.
‘ Mackenzie, it is our garden'” (Young 234)..As soon as Mack finds out that he was seeing his father, he ran to him. Mack loved his father, and his father loved him, even after everything they’ve been through.
Mack killed his father, and yet the love Mack’s father found in death was too strong to be overpowered by one very bad deed. The same goes for Mack, his father beat him and his mother, he was forced to become a man at a very young age, and grow up alone, and yet Mack still forgives him. This shows that the eternal love goes both ways, a child will always love their parent and the parent will always love their child, no matter what happens..Papa loves all of his children, even when they do wrong he forgives them.
Like when Mack kept judging and accusing Papa for taking his child, and not fixing the world. Papa forgave Mack immediately and calmly replied with no anger in his voice. Papa loves Mack so much he immediately forgave him and never held it against him (p. 127). Papa forgives us because he knows we all make mistakes and we are very sorry for making them.
. Papa forgives everyone for their sins because he can’t punish his children because he loves them. We learn this in The Shack when Wisdom, also known as Sophia, tells Mack to be the judge. She tells Mack to pick some of his children to go to heaven, and some to hell. Mack, obviously not being able to choose, feels the way Papa feels every time someone who has done awful things die.
When Mack realized how much God truly loves us and that he will never be able to torture his children, he begins to believe in God’s forgiving ways. Papa forgives all of his children for what they’ve done throughout their lives and gives them eternal life. Parents sacrifices everything for their children, he loves us with all of his heart and never tries to let us down. When mankind fell off the deep end and needed guidance back to our Lord, God sent his Son to us to lead us to the light and to guide us to salvation. Papa sacrificed his only Son, Jesus, to restore our faith.
Papa and Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us, they both suffered and died on the cross for us. Now, you might be thinking that only Jesus was on the cross, how did God suffer? Well, as it shows in the book, both Papa and Jesus have nail marks on their wrists, which symbolizes that God was with Jesus through all of his suffering, and is always there with us when we suffer, and is in just as much pain as we are. They went through this pain so we wouldn’t have to suffer and we could be happy in eternal life, and even if we did do wrong Papa takes all the pain for us so we don’t have to suffer in hell.