Summary Of Jared Diamond's Vengeance Is Ours?

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In “Vengeance is Ours,” Jared Diamond explores tribal societies’ views of revenge and compares them to our modern perspective by considering two detailed narratives. Diamond sets out to challenge the notion that the desire for revenge is “primitive, something to be ashamed of,” and instead suggests that such a feeling is natural and healthy (12). To accomplish this, Diamond tells the story of Daniel, a member of the highland New Guinea Handa clan, who orchestrates the paralysis of a rival clan leader, Isum, to avenge his late uncle, Soll. Upon doing so, Daniel exclaims “I have everything, I feel as if I am developing wings,” even though he didn’t release the virulent arrow himself (7). Diamond supplements this story with that of his father-in-law, Jozef, who, when given the opportunity to exact revenge on the man who brutally murdered his family during World War II, decided to place the murderer in the hands of the legal system. The man was released, leaving Jozef burdened with a sense of “guilt that he had not been able to protect his parents, and regret that he had failed in his responsibility to take vengeance” (11). On the basis of these narratives, Diamond advocates for a more widespread acceptance of the natural desire for revenge, an emotion which in is view is much like that of “love, anger, grief, and fear” (12). He concludes that great relief that can be supplied by properly expressing and acknowledging our thirst for vengeance. Taking a position so contrary to

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