The short story “Child of God” by Genevieve Abravanel explores the theme of guilt and forgiveness as the unnamed narrator struggles with her feelings of guilt and wonders whether she is deserving of forgiveness.

Firstly, in the beginning of the story, the narrator is thinking about her friends Bill and Petra, who are engaged to be married. The narrator thinks about her affair with Bill and realizes she must let Petra know about it: “He and Petra weren’t married, not for another month, but she was my friend and she didn’t know and if I told her about Bill, I’d have to say I was the other woman”. The narrator struggles to figure out how to tell her friend the truth about her fiancé, while knowing that she will also have to confess to being involved in Bill’s infidelity. 

The narrator is distressed enough by this that she goes out to drink so she can avoid thinking about the problem. The fact that she also refers to herself as an “adulteress” twice and confesses her wrongdoing to the Amish family hints at her guilt over what she has done. 

Then, the theme is also explored in the second part of the story when the narrator visits the Amish family of the boy she has run over. The narrator’s l...

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