Essay about The Bitter Taste of Revenge: The Significance of Seeking Vengeance

Essay about The Bitter Taste of Revenge: The Significance of Seeking Vengeance

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The idiom “revenge is sweet” appears so frequently that one might think the cliché is true, yet the nature of revenge is far more complex and may leave more bitterness in its wake. The cyclical nature of revenge and man’s inhumanity to man means it has a propensity to intensify and devastate the people in its wake including the inflictor. Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits examine the theme of the nature of revenge through the presence and significance of prominent characters seeking revenge in both Latin American novels.
When family and personal honor taints, the aftermath escalates into a major threat stemming from the nature of revenge forming in order to protect a principle. In order to save the family’s honor, which the town holds of the utmost importance, the Vicario brothers seek vengeance on Santiago Nasar. Pablo Vicario’s betrothed Prudencia Cotes, “knew what they were up to […] and [she] didn't only agree, [she] never would have married [Pablo] if he hadn't done what a man should do” (García Márquez 62). The quote characterizes not only Prudencia as unsympathetic, but also much of the town, whose indifference comes in part from its belief that the men have a duty to protect the women from disgrace. The House of the Spirits’ arguable protagonist, Esteban Trueba, tries to save his daughter from what he thinks of as disgrace in a similar manner-murder. The time passes “since the fateful day when Trueba had made him pay for his daughter’s virginity with an axe. Pedro Tercero remembered him as an angry giant” (Allende 360). The simile comparing Trueba to a giant emphasizes the lasting impact the encounter has on Pedro Tercero. Both accounts of vengean...


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... trying to put an end to this by destroying the metaphorical chain of vengeance.
The Vicario brothers in Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Esteban Trueba of Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits are prime examples of vengeance not being sweet relief, but instead a bitter burden. Even if it is meant to protect personal morals and values, the act of escalating the anger into violence will never satisfy. The keen understandings of the Chronicle of a Death Foretold’s narrator and Alba give hope for the future to not be rot by the illogical thought that revenge is sweet because in reality, it eventually turns bitter.



Works Cited

Allende, Isabel. The House of the Spirits. New York, NY: Random House, Inc., 1985. Print.
García Márquez, Gabriel. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. New York, NY: Vintage International,
1981. Print.

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