Look At Forgiveness And Revenge In A Poison Tree, The Psychology Of Revenge And The Count Of Monte Cristo
Revenge always seems like the right way to release emotions after being wronged in order to feel better. There are countless stories of people getting revenge and it is often glorified, which is why people are led to believe it is the right way to satisfy their feelings of anger towards someone. Revenge will only make you feel worse in the end and it is not a healthy or helpful way to heal. In The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes is wrongfully sent to jail which leads him to build up a lot of anger towards the people that got him there. He longs for revenge and once he achieves it, he is not satisfied. “A Poison Tree” and “The Psychology of Revenge” both further the belief that revenge is not a healthy or helpful way to heal. Forgiveness is much more effective and will get you further in life than vengeance.
In “The Count of Monte Cristo” Edmond Dantes is sent to jail for something he didn’t do. While in jail he meets Abbe Faria who teaches him many things. He reveals to Edmond who his real enemies are and this sparks a hatred in Dantes. On page 58, Realizing what he has done, Abbe Faria says to Edmond “I regret having helped you in your investigation and said what I did to you, because I have insinuated a feeling in your heart that was not previously there: the desire for revenge.” This quote shows that Abbe Faria is not supportive of Edmonds lust for revenge because he knows that it is not the right way to heal. Despite this, Dantes escapes jail and tracks down all of his enemies. He exacts his revenge on both Caderousse and Ferdnand, but when he is down to Villefort he begins to realize what he is doing. In the book it says “The count breathed with difficulty, perspiration ran down his brow, anguish contracted his chest. ‘No!’ he murmured to himself, ‘no! The doubts I felt were the first stage of the process of regretting; but in this place my heart rises up once more and cries out for revenge!’ This quote from the book shows the first time that Edmond is understanding the effect his vengeance is having on innocent people. The idea of destroying Villefort satisfied Edmond, but the act of destroying him did not. Despite all the anger and hatred he felt toward Villefort, even his downfall and him going insane did not make Edmond content with his decisions. This is clear evidence from the book that Revenge does not satisfy anger and hatred and will not allow you to heal.
In the article “The Psychology of Revenge” by Vanessa Van Edwards it speaks more on how revenge is truly not a healthy way to feel better about something. It says “Even though the first few moments feel rewarding in the brain, psychological scientists have found that instead of quenching hostility, revenge prolongs the unpleasantness of the original offense. Instead of delivering justice, revenge often creates only a cycle of retaliation.” This quote shows that although revenge feels correct in the moment in the end it will not make you feel any better and it will just lead to more suffering. The rush you receive in the beginning will not be worth what becomes of the end. Instead of allowing yourself to be fueled with this anger, you should find a healthy way to release it that will not result in the harming of another person. Later in the article it says “Revenge re-opens and aggravates your emotional wounds. Even though you might be tempted to punish a wrong, you end up punishing yourself because you can’t heal.” This quote shows that revenge makes you feel worse. Choosing forgiveness over vengeance can lead to the feeling of relief you are longing for with revenge.
“A Poison Tree” by William Blake talks about how when the writer feels angry with his friend, “I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end.” He is able to talk about it and it makes the anger go away and leaves the writer feeling content. But later in the poem it says “I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.” Blake is saying that when he is angry with someone he does not like he is not able to communicate it with them and it leads the anger to grow. He writes about his hate growing into a poison apple on a tree. His enemy ends up below the tree and is metaphorically defeated by the writers hatred. What this means is that it is better to release your feelings and tell someone that you are upset because it will make you feel better than seeing your foe suffer after taking vengeance.
In conclusion revenge is never the right way to satisfy your feelings of anger toward someone. In the long run revenge makes you feel worse, you may feel better in the moment but it leads to further emotional pain. People believe that seeing the person they hate the most suffer will make them feel satisfied with this hatred, but it will not. When you feel wronged by someone, your happiness will come from having a conversation with them, hearing them apologize, and then moving forward with your life. Instead of seeking revenge, seek forgiveness, it will make you feel a lot better about yourself.
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