If I have to track you down like a dog, you will get what is coming to you! We, as humans, are animals who remember very well the pain and harm done to us. We often do not even care whether or not the action was undertaken purposefully or randomly. Moreover, as we remember the pain and harm, we wish to take revenge. Certainly, vindictiveness is a characteristic feature of humans, and humans only, among all animals. No other animal will remember evil for such a long time and take revenge on whoever upset or hurt it. Animals simply react to pain, danger and other strong stimuli. There are various views on rancor and its role in human personal and social life. Some people believe that it is a normal and even useful emotion, something that allows us to survive. There are even those, who think, that living evil without a revenge basically stands for joining this evil, supporting it, becoming directly related to a sin, not doing anything in order to prevent evil, and thus multiplying, motivating it. Others believe that revenge is almost a sin. In any case, people have always taken revenge on one another for various reasons, and they continue to do so today. However, the world is changing, so are the realities of our lives, and the way we get revenge is also changing. The purpose of this essay is to look at how modern tactics are different from what people used to use against each other a few centuries ago.
In the first place, it is not a difficult task to determine how people used to take revenge on one another in the past. World literature is full of stories that can be looked at from this perspective. For example, one certainly remembers the classical tale, told by Edgar Alan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado.” This is the story of the terrifying death of a person who least of all expected such an outcome to the pleasant undertaking suggested to him by a friend, a friend whom he had always believed to be kind of a ninny (Poe, ND). Then, certainly, there is Othello (Shakespeare, ND). Othello is probably the first association for any educated person from any part of the world when revenge is mentioned. In a number of other cases, described in fictional literature, described instances, when a person would commit a suicide to take revenge on their beloved ones. Stories of revenge can be found throughout the history of world literature. Even ancient myths and legends, as well as poems of Homer and Virgil are full of stories of revenge. However, there are many other types of attack, all of which are quite classical and are not worth mentioning in this essay.
Furthermore, when speaking of modern types of revenge, however, it is worth looking at modern media when searching for information about such cases. Revenge has been modernized tremendously in today’s society. Nowadays, there are so many different ways for people to get revenge on others without having to do it in person. The most commonly used ways are social media and real-life interactions. Catfish is a very popular cable documentary show on MTV about people who are in online relationships with other people who may or may not be telling the truth about who they are. The host, Nev Schulman, and his trustee, Max, make it their mission to unveil these mysterious people behind the screens. In season 4, episode 12 of the show is real-life events…. Throughout my times watching the show, there have been episodes about people being bullied, impersonated, etc… There’re so many cases to illustrate, and the case of Emma Holten, so widely known across the world, is just one of bright examples to illustrate what people can do to one another without using physical power but, instead, applying modern technologies. Emma Holten reports to have woken up one morning and found all her social network accounts hacked and nude pictures of herself published all over the Internet (Holten, ND). For her, it was a serious trauma, but she found strengths and spirits to accept the call and struggle against the situation. Many in her position fail, and the outcomes of such failures are very unfortunate at times. Emma, however, managed to cope with the call and use the weapon, with which her enemies tried to bring her life to misery for the contrary goal: for taking revenge on her opponents. The form of her revenge is also worthwhile paying attention to. Her revenge was simply not following the scenario, developed for her by her enemies. It is an interesting way of looking at revenge. Revenge not as committing evil or somehow directly upsetting a person, on whom revenge is taken. But, instead simply by not following the evil path. This revenge is very special and, maybe, it is just the formula for all of us to follow. In this way we do not allow evil to take advantage over our position on the one hand, and, on the other, we do not multiply the evil with our own hands. I think, Emma managed to actually achieve this goal.
Additionally, when speaking of revenge in modern reality, we should understand, however, that such is not necessarily related to modern technologies. Bullying is one of the most significant problems of modern schools, and it is a problem, which actualized in modern time, since parents nowadays have less time to control and discipline their children, and this is just the case with teachers at school who are exposed to huge overcrowded classes; the situation is not always easy to keep track of. Meanwhile, bullying is a significant problem which, in many instances, results in suicidal cases (Pearce, 2013). Even in less severe cases, bullying is very harmful to the psychological state of the child who is being bullied, but for those who are in the majority, and especially for those who only “follow the crowd”—sometimes against their will—this is also not very good. Psychologists have recognized bullying to be one of the most significant problems of modern schools (Juvonen, 2014).
In summary, the faces of revenge are diverse, and they are particularly different in the modern world. Our world is providing numerous options for self-expression. However, many people dedicate their entire lives or, at least, larger portions of them to revenging and reacting to somebody else’s actions, instead of creating something of their own in this world. These people do not value their lives and do not realize how much fun can be had instead of multiplying the evil by taking revenge on somebody who caused you harm a long time ago. Nonetheless, these people are not just spoiling their lives. Some of them cause horrible pain to thousands and even millions of people. In this respect, it is important not to forget about world terrorism. Numerous organizations unite crowds of people who are ready and willing to die to cause harm to people whom they even do not know. They also call it revenge, but what their revenge is for, in many instances, they have a very vague image of that. Isn’t it time for us, humans, to stop in our evolution in the sphere of revenge and forward our effort to something more worthwhile working on? The answer seems to be obvious. Still, it seems also very true, that revenge, when looking at it from a different perspective, is what moves progress ahead. Maybe this is not the best example, but the Cold War, talking of recent history, was certainly a war of revenges, revenges, which, in the majority of cases, caused no harm to the opponent. But this competition, this attempt to achieve more to take revenge on the opponent, is what allowed humans to achieve much in technical sphere. Due to those competitions humans reached the Moon.
This is also true, the cold war also included a number of armed conflicts, in which both parties took place, though did not openly oppose one another in an armed battle. And this aspect falls off the pattern I am trying to discuss here. But the technological competition certainly was helpful and productive, and it can certainly be associated with revenge, as we, humans, modernly see it. Thus, revenge can have both negative and positive influence upon our lives, both positive and negative connotations. It is our choice, how to take revenge and how to comprehend it once it is taken on us. It is our choice and our responsibility. The manifestations of revenge in modern world are countless. There are more people in modern world, and thus there are more combinations of relationship between these people, when compared to the ancient world or even to relatively recent history (a couple of centuries ago). But in general it is hard to say, that revenge has significantly evolved in its nature. Its form is what has changed. Modern revenge does not necessarily presuppose application of deadly weapon. But the motive behind it and the results it leads to are pretty much the same.
- Holten, Emma. “Someone stole naked pictures of me. This is what I did about it”. Video. The Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com
- Juvonen, J., Graham, S. (2014). “Bullying in Schools: The Power of Bullies and the Plight of Victims”. Annual Review of Psychology (Annual Reviews) 65: 159–85.
- Pearce, Matt (2013-09-12). “Florida girl, 12, found dead after bullies said ‘kill you'”. U.S.: Nation Now. Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times).
- Poe, Edgar Allan. “Short Stories”. Bottletree Books LLC, 2008