Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines guilt as “the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law” (Merriam-Webster). In the novel Fifth Business by Robert Davies, he explores the topic of guilt. Published in 1970 (Goodreads), the book goes into detail of a man’s life story and how he finds the deeper meaning of life. One of the main messages of this novel is that a person’s life is dependent on how they make decisions and how they deal with the consequences of it. This message is shown in the novel through the character’s journey to search for the truth.
In Great Expectations, Miss Havisham, Magwitch, and Orlick use revenge as motivation, but they only cause harm to themselves and others in the end. Their lives are consumed by it, and yet none of them achieve what they want. It is discernible to the reader that revenge is not a viable source of motivation and can only lead to a negative outcome. The vengeance Miss Havisham enacts on Pip and Estella is not justified and only harms her and them in the end. That is not without her redemption, as she regrets her actions in the end and only meant to protect Estella in the beginning.
“The feeling of guilt is your conscience calling your attention to the higher road, and your heart wishing you had taken it.” The poem “I Can Stand Him no Longer” by Raphael Dumas and “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe are pieces of literature that develop the thematic topic of guilt using literary devices such as metaphors, connotations, similes and etc. Both stories are about a person who commits a deed that he is later guilty of doing. In “The Tell-Tale Heart”, a man commits a murder of an old neighbor and tries to hide the crime. However, he later finds himself guilty of doing so and accepts his crime in front of the police. Comparingly, the poem “I Can Stand Him No Longer” is about a man who hates another person.
Through Pip’s journey, Dickens suggests that happiness becomes achievable if one learns to accept and fix their flaws. The key to happiness entails being humble and compassionate rather than caring about appearance and status. That night after Jaggers, a London lawyer, offers Pip to go to London to become a gentleman, Pip struggles to not feel angry when Joe and Biddy show him genuine happiness for this opportunity. “I never could have believed it without experience, but as Joe and Biddy became more at their cheerful ease again, I became quite gloomy. Dissatisfied with my fortune, of course I could not be; but it is possible that I may have been, without quite knowing it, dissatisfied with myself.” (132).
"What goes around comes back around. "Meaning, a person's actions, whether it is good or bad, will often have consequences for that person. Guilt is a feeling of remorse for something that was done, such as, crime whether it's fiction or nonfiction. In Khaled Hosseini's novel, The Kite Runner,it was clearly seen that guilt was one of the most relevant themes. Amir expresses his guilt through his actions, insecurities, and his incapability to defend himself.
The weights they carried couldn’t be left behind and for some of the soldiers in O’Brien’s unit, they carried these intangible weights for more than twenty years after returning home from war"(Clark). There are multiple examples of the guilt in this book, that match with this quote. The first examples would lie within the first character during the war, Jimmy Cross. After he losses Ted Lavender by a sniper shot he Acosta 3 begins to feel the guilt of the death and tries to blame it on his love for Martha. The second example hits home when Norman Bowker kills himself due to the guilt psychological killing his will to live with the burden of him knowing he could have saved his fellow soldier, Kiowa.
In this instance, Prendick shows just how strong a moral code he has. Even in situations where he has seemingly no chance of survival, he does not compromise. Throughout the rest of the book, the main character is placed through tests to see how he changes over time. H.G. Wells tests the true extent of Prendick’s moral uprightness, consequently exploring the shifts that may happen to the human psyche under certain conditions and the basic animalistic nature of humanity.
However, when Pip takes his turn, he sees the truth of the situation. He describes the doubloon as the “ship’s navel,” and he knows if it is removed, as all the other crew members are “on fire to unscrew it,” the consequences will be dire: Moby Dick will have been spotted and the ship will be in great danger of being destroyed. However, and despite their flashes of insight, these characters are ignored and sidelined. After Pip is stranded in the middle of the sea he becomes mad. His madness is a constant reason for other characters in the novel to disregard him.
Pip’s visit to Satis house leads to his awareness of himself as “coarse and common“ (Chapter XIV 86). He appears to be embarrassed and ashamed of the confines imposed upon him by his social class. The discovery of his “expectations” seems to give Pip motive for his shame at his origins, and he ends up wanting to place some distance between himself and his original home. Pip becomes aware of his social class background from meeting Miss Havisham and Estella, who are of the upper social class, when he states that “[n]ow the reality was in [his] hold, [he] only felt that [he] was dusty with the dust of small-coal” (Chapter XIV 87).Another change takes place when Magwitch secretly hands Pip his fortunes and this where Pip begins to look down on his past. The money that Magwitch hands Pip changes him for the worst.
Guilt is one of the emotions capable of that often leads individuals to lie to others as well as themselves, and further lead them committing actions that they otherwise would not commit with rational thought processes. However, although feelings of guilt can prompt individuals toward better behaviour, overwhelming feelings of guilt can disable individuals and hinder them from being able to think or act normally, especially through panic or fear. Oftentimes, guilt can be misleading and damaging when excessive guilt is left alone or unresolved. The theme of guilt is evident in both William Shakespeare's play, ‘Hamlet’, and in Robertson Davies novel, ‘Fifth Business’. In both the play and the novel, there are several characters that portray feelings