Event Analysis #3
Forgiveness and Revenge
Forgiving an enemy is extremely difficult to do, and for some it is impossible. Forgiveness is permitting your anger to be spent on yourself. It is the very antithesis of revenge, which is to spend your anger on the person who wronged you. This is why it is far harder to forgive than to take revenge. “The Cask of Amontillado” demonstrates why it is easier to take revenge, and the poems “Liberty” and “Suburban” demonstrate aspects of forgiveness as well. Forgiveness can also be seen around the world today. The organization “Common Bond” helps teens that have lost loved ones to terrorism forgive their enemies and move on.
“Common Bond” is a unique organization that provides a supportive international community to children who have lost a loved one to terrorism. The idea came during a funeral when someone asked during the event, “Who will stand up for these children?” One by one, everyone at the funeral stood up and said, “I will.” This is how the organization came around. Its work is direly needed, as terrorist attacks are increasing each year around the world. Terrorism causes psychological trauma and ruins lives and children are particularly venerable. However through community and counseling, the children learn to forgive their enemies and move one.
Common Bond’s approach of dealing with enemies is far different than that of Montresor’s in “Cask of Amontillado.” Instead of forgiving his enemy who disrespected his family’s name, Montresor takes the easy path and spends his anger on his enemy. Instead of communicating his anger or forgiving Fortunato, Montresor decides to seal him up in a wall deep within the catacombs. He allowed his revenge to control him his actions, and Montresor became a slave to his own vice. Montresor was weak because he chose the easier path. The children supported by “Common Bond” are stronger because they choose the harder path: the path of forgiveness.
The poem “Suburban” by John Ciardi also demonstrates the virtue of forgiveness. In the poem, John’s neighbor irritably calls him over to pick up after his dog in her garden. Even though his dog is really in Vermont, John picks up the poop anyway and states, “Why loose out on organic gold for a wise crack?” Instead of resenting his neighbor, John chooses to see the positive in the situation and live with an active attitude of forgiveness.
In addition to “Cask of Amontillado” The poem “Liberty” also demonstrates the opposite of forgiveness, but in a different way. The speaker in “Liberty” does not enjoy the environment in which he lives. But instead of forgiving his situation and conforming to the ideals of society, he decides to express himself in the fullest way he can. He decides that he has the right to pee wherever he wishes. He feels liberated and free in his lifestyle of non-conformity.
In conclusion, forgiveness may not be the easy or popular, but it is always the best thing to do. Once the children in the organization “Common Bond” forgave their enemies, they were able to move on. People like Montresor, who actively hated Fortunato for an insult, will only hurt themselves in the end by spending their anger on others. Because in reality, when anger is spent on others, it is never really spent.