augustine's year of idleness in particular
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This "year of idleness" is Augustine at age sixteen. Because his parents were financially "straightened," he was able to take leisure. However this is the opposite of a good thing, from his perspective. Idleness is a sin in the Christian tradition (Proverbs 19), and it results in a steady decline in humanness and self-absorption. This is especially evident in Augustine's deep reflection upon his stealing pears.