Sin constitutes for Julian "alle that is nott good"; "yf synne had nott be, we shulde alle have be clene," which poses the question "why, by the grete forseyng wysdom of God, the be-gynnyng of synne was nott lettyd [prevented]." Jesus answers Julian as (now famously) follows: "Synne is behovely [necessary, beneficial], but alle shalle be wele, and alle shalle be wele, and alle manner of thynge shalle be wele" (chp.
Leaving aside any possible implications of universal salvation, which the Gawain-poet undoubtedly does not share, Julian's behovely treatment of sin remains the key affinity between the poem and the revelations.
Sin is Behovely
, but All shall be well, and All manner of thing shall be well.
He identifies Julian's use of the Middle English word "behovely
" ("sinne is behovely
") as the crux of the matter of formal consistency, and his extensive discussion of it is enlightening.
"Sin is behovely
," she pronounced, "but all shall be well, and all shall be well" (she had to say it twice for the knuckleheads) "and all manner of things shall be well."
Sin is Behovely
[or inevitable], but All shall be well, and ...
A 20th Century anchoress, a modern equivalent of Julian of Norwich, her paintings echo Julian's saying 'Sin is behovely
, but all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well'.
Thus, for Eliot, sin is "Behovely
," yielding an emotional guarantee of meaning to individual human life, a sense of personal identity thai would be otherwise unobtainable.