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Thursday, June 10, 2010

June: PAPER TOWNS, Revenge

John asks, "Do you think the characters Margo targets for revenge get what they deserve? Does Lacey deserve to be included?"

Follow-up: Have you ever felt like you wanted revenge? Did you act on it?


L.J. Boldyrev said...

I have never seen a character with my name (Lacey)! I've been wanting this book but now I want it even more, lol!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I think that the whole idea of revenge is a dangerous situation. I think that most of us automatically go there, but the revenge we seek can ultimately have more unintended consequences and do more damage than the original offense.

To me, revenge is a more of a first or innate sot of reaction. It takes maturity and a certain rationality to step back from that angry, plotting place to form a more clear-headed plan about dealing with people and situations that have hurt you.

That said, Margo is one of the bestest characters ever written and I totally cheered her on throughout Paper Towns.

Whitney said...

Mrs. DeRaps, that is true about maturity and how to deal with people after betrayal, but Margo does take a long time to concoct those schemes.
Maybe the brooding only aged and refined her anger against them to the point that she definitely would have carried them out regardless, or it prevented her from doing anything more harmful.
Also, in the end Lacey makes amends, but in the moment Margo could only see her as the one-sided frenemy which was unfortunate.

Either way, I thought her methods were precise and brilliant.

elfarmy17 said...

I think a lot of people prefer to forgive people, or ignore the things they do to us. Margo doesn't. If we're going to punish people for what they've done, then they absolutely deserved it. Jace and Becka (that's her name, right?) deserved it anyway.

Melissa Walker said...

The idea of revenge is scary/sad to me in some ways because I think it can take over the person's life who WANTS revenge. Then they're living in this darker place. At the same time, though, it's always fascinating to see characters you love enact revenge on characters you dislike, so I'm for it in fiction. Just maybe not for my own life (but hey, you never know).

Lorie Ann Grover said...

I fall in with Melissa. I can enjoy revenge in fiction, relish Margo's, but there's no way I'm going entertain it in my own life. *shivers*

airshoes said...
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Shelf Elf said...

There have been a few times when I've wanted revenge, and one or two times when I've even worked out the details and thought I'd go for it. But in those cases, before I acted on my desire for revenge, I realized that the reason I wanted revenge was that I was sad, more than angry, and that in taking revenge, I'd just end up feeling sadder. So I've never followed-through on my revenge plans. I've just let things go, as best as I could. I think for most people, revenge stays in the land of story, not in the real world, and I think that the real world is better for it.

John said...

L.J.: I named her Lacey just for you :)

Mrs. DeRaps: I agree with you that on some fundamental level, revenge always fails, because what we want from revenge is justice, and once injustice has been introduced into a relationship, a restoration to justice is impossible. (That's my opinion, anyway.) What interests me, though, is why we are all as humans drawn to revenge even though intellectually we know it won't work.

elfarmy: Jase and Becca deserved the punishment, maybe, but does it accomplish much in the end? It doesn't make Margo happier. The only thing it accomplishes is accidental: Margo's night of revenge brings her closer to someone, and makes her regret the relationships she might have had. It's not the revenge that's satisfying, I don't think; it's the new friendship.

I think what shelfelf says about being sad rather than angry is moving and utterly accurate. Margo is the kind of person who turns to anger when she feels sad. (I am that kind of person, too, unfortunately.) It's hard to accept feeling sad. Sadness can feel pathetic and weak, things Margo hates feeling. But I think sadness is underrated. Running from sadness is a hard road.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Absolutely. Sitting with sadness is the test.

Dia Calhoun said...

I wanted revenge on a man who kidnapped my cat and dumped it twenty miles away in the woods. By a miracle I got my cat back. But I still wanted revenge. What stopped me? Everything I could think of doing to the man was illegal.

It's ten years later, and I spit in his yard every time I walk by.