Welcome to my personal blog, where I write about whatever I want.
In its most visceral form, Revenge embodies anger so intense it demands action. It’s a complex emotion, intertwining personal vendetta with the broader concept of divine justice. Through literature, we find intricate portrayals of this relationship. Two tales, in particular, stand out in their examination of revenge and its ties to perceived divine retribution.
In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s "A Study in Scarlet," we're drawn into a tale of love, betrayal, and vengeance. Jefferson Hope, a rugged American hunter, falls deeply in love with Lucy Ferrier, a young woman entangled by the strictures of the Mormon Church. The church discovers their clandestine love affair, leading to Lucy being forcibly married to Enoch Drebber, a prominent member of the Church. Her spirit crushed by this forced union, Lucy tragically dies soon after, leaving Jefferson consumed by grief and a thirst for revenge. He pursues Lucy's oppressors, Drebber and his accomplice Joseph Stangerson, across continents. Jefferson's retribution method is unique and telling when he finally corners them in London. Instead of overpowering them physically, he offers a macabre choice: two pills, one harmless and one deadly. His victims must choose their fate, with Jefferson willing to take whichever pill remains. Through this act, he invokes the concept of divine justice, letting a higher power decide their fate. Is it a mere chance that both men choose the lethal pill, or is it a cosmic judgment on their deeds?
Alexandre Dumas' magnum opus, "The Count of Monte Cristo," unravels a tale of betrayal, imprisonment, and meticulously planned revenge. Edmond Dantes, a young sailor on the cusp of a promising life, is betrayed by those he considered friends. Imprisoned unjustly, he spends years in the Chateau d'If, where he plots revenge against his conspirators. Among them is Fernand, who coveted Edmond's fiancée, Mercedes. Over the years, Fernand rises in society, becoming General Fernand, while Edmond, having escaped and acquired vast wealth, assumes the identity of the Count of Monte Cristo. As the Count, Edmond meticulously destroys Fernand's reputation and standing. When Fernand, in a fit of rage, challenges the Count to a duel, he soon realizes that he is confronting his past misdeeds. The revelation is too much for Fernand. Recognizing that he might face divine retribution in the duel, he takes his own life, a poignant acknowledgment of the weight of his guilt.
The consequences of revenge, as illustrated in both stories, are profound and far-reaching. In "A Study in Scarlet," Jefferson Hope's relentless pursuit of retribution leads to his adversaries' demise and culminates in his own tragic end. Whether it's a twist of fate or an ironic play of divine justice, he, too, becomes a casualty of his vengeful quest. Similarly, in "The Count of Monte Cristo," Edmond Dantes' dedication to vengeance fundamentally alters him. While he meticulously orchestrates the downfall of those who wronged him and regains his lost wealth, he emerges as a man transformed. The young sailor's fiery passion and boundless hope are replaced by a cold, calculated demeanor driven only by revenge. When presented with a chance for happiness and reconciliation with Mercedes and the possibility of a bond with her son Albert, Dantes is no longer capable of seeking or accepting love. The man who once was filled with life and emotion has become an empty vessel, consumed by his quest for retribution. These narratives poignantly highlight that while revenge might offer momentary triumph, its long-term consequences can be a life devoid of warmth, love, and genuine connection.
Revenge, while a natural human instinct, can lead to a vicious cycle of retribution, perpetuating pain and conflict. The dangers lie in the immediate consequences of acts of vengeance and the lasting emotional and psychological scars they leave behind. By conflating personal vendettas with divine will or justice, we risk distorting our moral compass and perpetuating harm to ourselves and others. Such a path can leave us isolated, consumed by bitterness, and trapped in the past.
However, there's a transformative alternative. Addressing revenge begins with introspection, recognizing the deeper emotions driving our desire for retribution. Embracing compassion for oneself and those who may have wronged us can initiate healing and pave the way for forgiveness. It's essential to remember that every individual, including ourselves, is shaped by many experiences and influences, some of which may lead to mistakes or misjudgments.
Instead of dwelling on past grievances, focus on personal growth. Surround yourself with positive influences—people encouraging understanding, empathy, and forward movement. Engage in activities and practices that promote self-reflection, knowledge, and mental well-being.