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|Literature Relationship American literature
People who seek revenge look for solutions to satisfy themselves after an incident that made them feel annoyed in the past. Revenge is always the worst experience for those who are subjected to it. When people become sad because of something terrible that others did to them, they are likely to take revenge against the wrongdoers. The acts that lead to attack mostly made the revenge seeker feel sad, intimidated, afraid, or at risk. The actions of revenge have far-reaching effects and cause relationships between people to die. In the story 'The Veldt' by Ray Bradbury and 'The Cask of Amontillado' by Edgar Allan Poe, the theme of revenge is profound. The authors try to explain some circumstances that might result in retaliation and its effects on vengeance seekers and victims.
The story 'The Veldt' talks about children who decided to take revenge against their parents, for they denied the children freedom. Initially, the children had enjoyed unlimited freedom, which made them very dangerous. The parents had given the children a lot of autonomy, and as a result, they became unstable (Bradbury, 2020). When the parents realized how much the children had become sinister because of the excess freedom, they decided to withdraw the freedom. George takes the children's nursery, which makes the children angry, and therefore they move away from home. While they are away from home, they plan revenge.
As revenge, the children tie both George and Lydia in the lion's nursery and expose them to dangerous animals. Although George meant to correct Peter and Wendy, the children felt very sad about their withdrawn freedom and decided to revenge. Freedom has made children dangerous enough to expose someone to fatal danger (Bradbury, 2020). When the family calls in a psychologist, the psychologist advises the parents that they close the nursery. Peter and Wendy overheard the conversation between the parents and the psychologist and decided to take revenge against him. Once the psychologists walk into the room, the children close the door from outside as an act of revenge. The children were so obsessed with the nursery that they could not forgive anyone who dared stop them from accessing it.
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado," the author portrays a sad person seeking revenge against his antagonists. The fact that Allan Poe started the story with the words "The thousand injuries" tells us that something happened, which made the protagonist suffer. The suffering could either have been physical or psychological. However, when Allan Poe says, "But when he went upon insult I vowed revenge," it tells us that the pain that Montresor experienced was psychological and not physical (Baraban, 2004). However, the author tells us that Montresor vowed revenge. The author makes us understand that Montresor had suffered betrayal from his close friend. Most people who feel that their friends betrayed them end up executing a revenge activity. For instance, actions of blame mostly result in revenge from parties of disagreement.
Fortunato and Montresor used to be close friends, but the latter swears that his friend had committed the crime and was only payable by death punishment. The author here tells us how revenge can be dangerous. However, Montresor says, "I must not punish but punish with impunity," to means that he wanted to punish so that his actions would not be reversed at a future date. The protagonist preferred a form of revenge that would not be easy to reciprocate (Baraban, 2004).
Allan Poe presents revenge as an organized action where the avenger needs not to act in a hurry but to plan what they would do. The act of revenge needs to be unable to detected from the subject side at the early stages (Baraban, 2004). The need for the action of attack to be reversible as the author tells us that Montresor wanted to not only punish his counterpart but also do so with impunity. After conducting an act of revenge, an effective avenger remains unharmed (Lee et al., 2013).
Fortunato dies in the hands of the man who was once his closest friend. This incident comes after Montresor tries to speak suggestively while the two engage in communication. The man tells his enemy, "No one insults me with impunity," but Fortunato is too naive to get any clue what Montresor is telling him. Some cultures and beliefs contribute significantly to actions of revenge. For instance, Montresor's revenge significantly has a link with his beliefs and those of their family. When Fortunato asked what Montresor's family motto was, he answered that no one could intimidate him and go scot-free. It is this belief that makes Fortunato die in the hands of Montresor.
In real-life situations, revenge mostly comes from feelings of betrayal by people who initially had a good relationship. The act of betrayal might not be as dense as the avenger sees it. However, the action of revenge mostly results in very heavy destruction, and is usually impossible to reverse the effects of the act. Some of the issues arising from revenge are infidelity in marriage, exposing friend's secrets, and many other incidences. When people start revenge, they do something more significant than what their friend had done, mostly due to very substantial harm (Julie, 2006).
Revenge Takes Away Human Ties
Revenge is an action that breaks bonds between people. It is revenge that makes one forget the first relationship that they had with the subject of the activity. For instance, in the short story 'The Veldt,' the children did not see their parents as necessary as they used to see them before but as enemies (Bradfield and Aquino, 1999). The children were even ready to kill their parents as a way of executing their revenge plans. George establishes that his son Peter would kill him for denying him the freedom to use the nursery (Bradbury, 2020). The author clearly explains the effect that revenge brings on human beings; they stop to see the link that exists between them and others. Revenge can make love change and become hatred, and people should avoid taking actions of revenge out of anger (Bradfield and Aquino, 1999).
The vengeful children could not stop their actions of rebellion as long as someone dared to prevent them from accessing the nursery. George finds out that Peter can even kill his father as revenge if he dares to stop the child from using the nursery. Ray Bradbury tries to explain the extent to which revenge seekers can go in their endeavors (Bradbury, 2020). Although the initial act might seem minor, the revenge seeker will see it as a big deal. As we read in the short story, revenge can destroy all types of relationships, just like it stains the one between Peter and George.
Edgar Allan Poe also makes it clear that revenge destroys human relationships. Although Fortunato and Montresor were very close friends, the latter says that what his friend did was only punishable through death punishment (Baraban, 2004). Montresor swore to punish Fortunato so that it would not be possible for anyone to redeem the revenge (Baraban, 2004). The initial cordial relationship between the two becomes tattered because of the protagonist seeking revenge. The two great friends finally separate when Montresor kills his once-great friend. The author, therefore, makes us know the effect of actions of the attack on destroying human relationships.
When Montresor narrates what transpired between him and his friend after 50 years, he compares the story to a person crushing a snake with his leg (Bradfield and Aquino, 1999). The snake remains able to bite the human leg. The story still has a significant impact on the protagonist's life in the novel 'The Cask of Amontillado (Baraban, 2004). Therefore, revenge makes human relationships die and brings a long-lasting effect on the minds of the Avengers.
Revenge is Irredeemable
Actions of revenge are always irredeemable. Once a person takes or seeks revenge against another, they still see each other as wrong. The effect is hard to reverse and remains in the minds of both the avenger and the subject. In the story 'The Veldt,' the children see their parents as enemies and do not change their negative perceptions (Bradfield and Aquino, 1999). The negativity that the children have developed even makes them punish other people who are not parties to the disagreement. When the psychologist visits the family, the child takes action against him to advise George to lock the nursery.
Although the incident between Fortunato and Montresor lasted for over 50 years, Montresor still feels the guilt of the action that he took against his friend (Baraban, 2004). Montresor explains the situation by comparing what happened with a person killing a snake using their leg. The person puts the pin in danger since the snake can bite them. Montresor says that the snake is still biting him after 50 years (Baraban, 2004). The words confirm how irredeemable the action of revenge is.
From both stories, it is clear that revenge might originate from something that someone does with good intentions, but the other one misunderstands the action. The effects of revenge are always as devastating as the Avengers often put the subject's life in danger. The vengeful actions also result in breaking family and friendship bonds and leaving the Avengers with regrets. People do dangerous things out of anger and often regret their deeds even after a long time. People should, therefore, be slow to anger and avoid undertaking actions of revenge, and instead, at times, they should let go of some things.
Baraban, E. (2004). The Motive for Murder in "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe. Rocky Mountain Review Of Language And Literature, 58(2), 47. https://doi.org/10.2307/1566552
Bradbury, R. (2020). The Veldt, a short story by Ray Bradbury. Sensitive Skin Magazine. Retrieved 16 August 2020, from https://sensitiveskinmagazine.com/the-veldt/.
Bradbury, Ray, and Gary Kelley. The Veldt. N.p.: Creative Education, 1987. Print.
Bradfield, Murray, and Karl Aquino. "The Effects of Blame Attributions and Offender Likableness on Forgiveness and Revenge in the Workplace." Journal of Management 25.5 (1999): 607-631. Print.
Fitness, Julie. "Betrayal, Rejection, Revenge, and Forgiveness: An Interpersonal Script Approach." Interpersonal Rejection (2006): 72-103. Print.
Lee, Jin-Soo, Steve Pan, and Henry Tsai. "Examining Perceived Betrayal, Desire for Revenge and Avoidance, and the Moderating Effect of Relational Benefits." International Journal of Hospitality Management 32 (2013): 80-90. Print.
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