The Price of Revenge in Sleepers and Valentine
Many people advocate the philosophy of "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," but few of them realize that to take revenge is often to sacrifice oneself and that the very purpose of law is to put an end to revenge. People are willing to sacrifice their freedom, their careers, and even their lives for revenge. Lorenzo Carcaterra's novel Sleepers, and Tom Savage's novel, Valentine, evidently express this. Although its true that it might take couple of years for criminals to get what they deserve, most of the time the law gets the job done. In addition, some may argue that the law doesn't always ensure justice. This is also true, but it’s still not worth to sacrifice oneself. We should let the law do its job.
People may sacrifice their freedom for revenge. In Sleepers, John Reilly and Tommy Marcano could not forget the humiliation they suffered at the Wilkinson Home for Boys. One day, they saw Sean Nokes, one of the guards who never planned on a reunion with the two boys, sitting in a bar. They recognized him at first glance and didn't want to give up this valuable chance for Nokes to pay for what he did to them. Both of them pulled out their guns and shot Nokes to death in cold blood. The shots that took away their enemy's life soon took away their own freedom. They were both arrested and put into jail.
People may sacrifice their careers for revenge as well. Michael Sullivan, after being released from the Wilkinson Home, had never again had a problem with the law. Moreover, he graduated with honors from high school and eventually became a New York City assistant district attorney. But his career was destined to be destroyed when he decided to go after the other guards. "It's payback time", Michael said," John and Tommy started it, I can finish it" (Carcaterra p.271). As the prosecuting attorney, he set the witness (one of the guards) up and purposely lost the case. Although his revenge plan succeeded, his reputation as a lawyer was ruined. He never practiced law again and became a carpenter. It's a tragedy that this law school student doesn't believe in law.
People may even sacrifice their lives for revenge. In Valentine, Victor Dimorta is an abused boy.