Revenge Written by: Hollyn Meador

Revenge.  Some would say it is a necessary justification to injustice.  Others might say it has no place in the world.  By what means is revenge justifiable?  How far is one “allowed” to go, while maintaining a moral compass?  Can revenge exist for some circumstances and not others? 

These are questions that the ABC television serious Revengeposes.  The themes of justice, forgiveness, morality, love, deceit, and power are intertwined within plots, subplots, and more underlying subplots.  Emily VanCamp plays Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke, the main character.  Born as Amanda Clarke, Emily Thorne returns to the Hamptons as a charitable socialite plotting her father’s vengeance on a wrongful conviction framed by the wealthy Grayson family.  Her father, David Clarke, was sent to federal prison on account of terrorism responsible for downing one of the planes in the 9/11 attacks.

I have been watching this television series for a few weeks now and I am totally enthralled.  My favorite kinds of movies and shows are the ones that keep unveiling layers and layers of connections and new storylines.  The element of surprise can be somewhat addicting.  Not only do I enjoy the entertainment piece, but also I enjoy how the show helps me reflect upon life.  It represents deeper issues of society.  Issues of self-preservation and how far people are willing to go and compromise themselves for the sake of protecting their pride.  It makes me wonder what kind of high society crime does not get exposed on the news.  It also makes me wonder how this kind of show may influence or effect our teen population in regards to bullying.  The show may perpetuate behaviors like bullying or perpetuate revenge back on a bully from the victim. 

The irony with revenge is that in retaliating back from a wrongdoing against us, we commit the same wrongdoing, however, it may feel more justified.  But just because it feels more justified, does that make it right?  This may be the underlying deceit in the idea that revenge is truly fulfilling and satisfying, when in reality, it may not be.  The power to forgive the person who wronged us may be far more rewarding than taking the same action one experienced from that bully back onto him or her.

In the show (as in life), it is easy to judge each character, the choices they make and the sins of their past and present.  Then I wonder, “What if I was in their position?” “What if I was experiencing this high degree of righteous anger, so much so to move me to doing something?”  “What would I do?”  As I watch the plots unfold, I find myself tearing up at the heartbreak and the struggle of being a product of someone else’s consequences.   Life-changing consequences.

What I am learning from the television show, Revenge, is that sometimes life struggles consist of mostly gray areas.  The gray areas move us into a place of self-analysis and self-reflection.  A place to decide whom we want to be based on the choices of our actions, particularly when faced with hurt and disappointment.  To whom will we look for guidance?  How will we know we have made the right decision?

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