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Rather than read the girdle as a heroic symbol of his overall journey and survival of the Green Knight's axe, Gawain is determined to remember only its specific origins in his sin and cowardice, "[r]emembering with remorse, when I am mounted in glory, / The fault and faintheartedness of the perverse flesh.
He has underlined a view of human nature that may well explain his political mutation and the faintheartedness of others.
By the 1950s, with the National Party in power, this administrative faintheartedness began to disappear as coercive social engineering in the countryside was speeded up and the state undertook a policy of sustained forced removal in the homelands that prepared them for their impending barracoon role of absorbing all those evicted or from "white" South Africa.
There are two dangers: on the one hand a tendency toward priestliness, toward a new clericalism, with all the arrogance that often goes with it; and on the other hand a temptation toward faintheartedness, toward a loss of morale which leaves in its wake only "uncertainty, anger, at worst self-hatred.
Or, allowing for occasional fits of faintheartedness, with the next thing to fortitude.
If Bush had shown clemency, going in the face of the Court of Appeals, it would have forever remained on his [resume] as an act of faintheartedness, inappropriate for an aspiring presidential candidate," El Mundo said in an editorial.