This past week I read the book American War by Omar El Akkad. In this blog I will address the theme of violence throughout the novel, how humans can be blinded by the need for revenge, and how we see the ways these ideas are played out in our country today. In this book we see Sarat from a young age let her anger towards the Blues begin to consume her. It began with her dad dying in the Blue country and then progressed when Gaines recruited her and then her mother was killed along with her brother becoming seriously injured from the attack on Camp Patience. After the attack on Camp Patience we see Sarat finally blinded by the revenge she wants to let out on the Blues when she tells Gaines “I want to kill them” (209). The craving for violence against the Blue country leads to Sarat killing the Blues top General and eventually releasing the Quick and beginning the Reunification Plague which would lead to over 100 million American lives lost. These themes of violence and revenge can be seen in our society through various actions taken in our country recently. A recent act of violence in response to frustration and the need for revenge was the attack on our American Capital on January 6th. Found on this website, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2021/politics/trump-insurrection-capitol/ , this attack and riot took place because former President Trump told his loyalists that “we’re going to have to fight much harder” in retaliation for the election he felt was stolen from him and his followers. This reminded me of Gaines and how he influenced Sarat to feel anger and want vengeance against her enemies. We saw that these riots and storming of the capital took place because former President Trump convinced his followers that they had all been wronged and cheated out of a victory by their enemies. The need for revenge and the violence that follows shows how terror can take place and how people can lose their lives because of it. Another example I have seen of these ideas being played out in our society actually occurred a couple days ago during the Atlanta Attacks against Asian Americans. Found on this website, https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2021-03-18/asian-americans-grieve-organize-in-wake-of-atlanta-attacks , these attacks were caused by a white gunman influenced by a “year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks on Asian Americans”. We see how close to a year of the COVID-19 virus being referred to as the “Chinese Virus” and other racial terms by some of our country’s leaders to describe it has caused a negative and hateful attitude towards Asian Americans. This attack in Atlanta led to eight people losing their lives with most of them being Asian women. In this example we see how the violence committed has been caused by the need for revenge by the white gunman for this virus that they have been lead to believe has been caused by Asians. This terrible event was caused by intolerable hate because the gunman was blinded by their need for revenge against Asians. This also reminds me of Sarat where she is so blinded by her hate for the Blues that even when she gets out of prison and the war is over, her first initial instinct when she sees a Blue soldier at the market is to kill them without hesitation. Do you think there is any way that our country can stop or decrease the amount of violence caused by the desire for revenge that is blinding various radical individuals?
Source for Image: https://www.rollcall.com/2021/01/15/interior-watchdog-to-examine-jan-6-capitol-riot-events-before/