Revenge and Injustice Portrayed in Literature

Honestly, I do not find the theme in the story I write until after the fact. However, I always go into a book or writing with a particular purpose. The characters must have a reason for their actions. And when reading, I want to know what the motives are for the things the characters do. Revenge has been a theme in literature for ages, from The Count of Monte Cristo to Hamlet, to earlier works, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and Gone Girl.  

There is always some emotion steering the character who seeks revenge, whether she/he is driven by hatred, anger, bitterness, or even love. On the other hand, revenge can derive from any or all of these. Injustice is usually associated with revenge. How does this relate to people in real life? What connection does this theme of injustice and revenge have in common with how people go about directing their emotions in stressful situations? Recent events around the world give examples where authors might obtain their ideas and purpose to write a story about tales of injustice and revenge. Sometimes injustice calls for revenge (in one shape or form) while other times, revenge may equal injustice. An example of revenge deriving from injustice is the killing of Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. But it was when the cop, Darren Wilson, accused of shooting and killing Michael, was found innocent when the injustice surfaced. In response, people around the country exercised their rights, marching the streets with signs, shouting, and protesting the court’s decision, demanding justice be given to Micheal Brown. There was also the act of violence, vandalism, and looting to show revenge. People have different ways of showing revenge to different things they find injustice in.  Events such as these have occurred for ages, and writers have acted  as observers in this world, collecting these events and telling them in paperbacks, newspapers, hardbacks, audio devices, and now eBooks.

Ideas in stories reflect society. Through literature, readers learn about the history of cultures, which have shaped society today. “Revenge is sweet” as the old saying goes. How would this phrase ever have been become cliche if it hadn’t been read in some form of literature. Authors require a careful insight and research in the culture around them to paint the most realistic picture or story for her or his readers. Literary fiction is the super weight in mirroring society with characters and stories, but at least the slightest realism of the behavior in this world can be discovered in any work: science fiction, fantasy, Young Adult fiction, etc….

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