In Peter Abelard’s The Story of my Misfortunes and Augustine’s The Confessions both authors make choices that affect their lives in negative and positive ways. Abelard’s most important choice is the one to be with Heloise, and he writes about this choice without regret. Augustine however, views the choices of his early life, like stealing pears and fathering a child out of wedlock, with deep regret. Augustine views most of his past negatively, while Abelard is more positive and thankful for where his choices took him.
Peter Abelard’s most important choice is the one that brings him and Heloise together. Abelard writes that Heloise was a beautiful young woman who many suitors would love to have as a wife. Heloise and Abelard began an affair, with a great amount of passion and love. They were in love and did not see anything wrong with staying together without being married. Heloise is in the care of her uncle and when he learns of their affair, he does everything in his power to keep them separated. While they are separated, Abelard learns that his lover Heloise is pregnant with his child. Realizing that Heloise’s uncle could put their child in danger, Abelard sends Heloise to live with his sister until she gives birth. As punishment for being with Heloise and getting her pregnant, Heloise’s uncle takes Abelard’s manhood.
Augustine’s most important choices are the ones regarding his early sins. The stealing of fruit in the orchard with school friends is a prime example of the mistakes Augustine sees himself making throughout his life. Augustine looks back on this choice as himself going against everything God wants for him and his life. He cannot forgive even his earliest sins because he feels he should have known better.
Abelard does not regret his choice to be with Heloise, despite what it cost him. Augustine is full of regret over his decision to steal a simple piece of fruit.