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Revenge: The Unvanquished

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In The Unvanquished by William Faulkner, the theme of revenge appears throughout the story. Primarily, Bayard and Ringo avenge the death of Rosa Millard, their grandmother. By violently shooting the sociopath Grumby, Granny’s killer, their revenge is wrought through the traditional Southern form of closure, bringing about the death of the killer and avenging the victim. Next, Drusilla, Bayard’s cousin, displays revenge by joining Colonel Sartoris of the Confederate army in order to avenge the death of her fiancé. By joining the Confederates, Drusilla gains the opportunity to kill the Yankee soldiers responsible for her fiancé’s death in battle. Finally, Bayard exacts vengeance upon Redmond for murdering Colonel John Sartoris, Bayard’s father. However, Bayard achieves his goal of seeking revenge in a nonviolent way, avoiding killing anyone, breaking the traditional Southern code of revenge. Each character struggles with the necessity to avenge the death of their loved ones, seeking the ultimate, most appropriate punishment for the murderer who harms their family.
First, Bayard and Ringo take vengeance upon Grumby. Uncle Buck also joins them, exclaiming, “'Need me or not,' he hollered, 'by Godfrey, I'm going. You can’t
stop me. You mean to tell me you don't want me to go with you?'" (Faulkner 159). This displays Uncle Buck’s need for the death of Grumby, and his fel necessity in taking part protrudes. When Bayard and Ringo succeed in killing Grumby, Uncle Buck congratulates them for avenging Granny and fulfilling family obligation.
"’The proof and the expiation!’ Uncle Buck hollered. ‘When me and John Sartoris and Drusilla rode up to that old compress, the first thing we see was that murdering scoundrel pegged out on the door ...

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...lifies the overall message, exemplifying the alternative to violence in revenge.
To conclude, in The Unvanquished by William Faulkner, the theme of revenge is amply illustrated. Bayard and Ringo display revenge through Grumby’s shooting, following the old Southern code to avenge Granny’s killing. Likewise, Drusilla joins the Confederate army to take vengeance upon the Yankees, sacrificing all to ensure her fiancé’s honorable death. Finally, Bayard takes revenge upon Redmond for killing his father, Colonel Sartoris. However, Bayard approaches the situation differently by confronting Redmond unarmed. This proves that a necessity for violence when seeking revenge is not necessary, thereby changing the old Southern code. It also proves that violence as a response is not a positive way to approach a situation; it is better to address situations calmly and without anger.
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