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Stance On Revenge Essay

1014 words - 5 pages

“If you live in a society where the rule of law is weak, revenge provides a way to keep order. But revenge comes at a price. Instead of helping you move on with your life, it can leave you dwelling on the situation and remaining unhappy, psychologists' research finds. Considering revenge is a very human response to feeling slighted…,” (Price). Revenge is a natural human response that we think will help us; however, many times it ends up hurting us. Based on my findings, revenge is viewed as acceptable, but experts say it can also be detrimental to those seeking retribution.
All of the critic reviews commended director Martin Scorsese for his excellent movie Cape Fear. Revenge was mentioned in the reviews, but never expounded upon the subject in terms of whether it was acceptable or not. An assumption can be made that since the movie was praised, and no comment was given to the subject of revenge, it is an acceptable part of human nature. If it was not viewed as acceptable, then the movie would not have been so highly praised, and surely some comment would have been made about it. Desson Howe of the Washington Post says the movie is a basic revenge story, but goes no further to explain whether revenge is right or wrong. This critic does mention, however, that Cape Fear is a morality play. “The movie's awash with themes: Truth and deceit, good and evil, salvation and damnation, treachery and fidelity, freedom and imprisonment. There are moral twists everywhere,” (Howe). This may mean that the revengeful plot has a moral discrepancy. But was the revenge of Mr. Cady on the right side or the wrong side? Cady probably feels justified in getting back at his defending lawyer Bowden. “Bowden did not defend Cady to the best of his ability. Cady knows this and wants some payback,” (Gowers). Bowden withheld evidence that may have saved his client. “Now Cady is out and hungry for revenge, having spent his [fourteen year] sentence remaking himself into a wily lawyer and con-man psychologist,” (TV Guide). Mr. Cady felt the law had failed him, so he took it into his own hands to deal with the person who wronged him.
The main character in “Killings,” Matt Fowler, deals with similar emotions to what Max Cady felt. The law had failed Matt in releasing the killer of his son. Matt felt he had to deal with the situation himself and took revenge. Like Cady, Matt planned his revenge; it was not spontaneous. Both characters thought that taking revenge would be the best thing for their lives, but this is not what happened. Revenge was not as sweet as Matt thought it would be. This is illustrated in the last line of the story “Killings”. “…he shuddered with a sob that he kept silent in his heart,” (Dubus 73). This is what Price meant when he said that revenge does not help you move on with your life but leaves you dwelling on the past and unhappy. No conclusion can really be drawn from Max Cady on how he...

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