Revenge and Justice

The main difference between revenge and justice is this: justice is a moral rightness, while revenge is an action taken by an individual as a response to a wrongdoing. Revenge is done to satisfy the individual who was hurt, while justice is carried out to show the fairness of society. In A Time to Kill, both revenge and justice are main contributors to the background of the film. Lawyer Jake Brigance brings justice to Carl Lee Hailey by representing him and winning the case in the end. It’s also because of the jury of the court that justice is finally brought to Carl Lee.

On the revenge side of the story, I think there is a part of Jake that kept going with the case because he personally wanted to see revenge taken on the two guys who raped Carl’s daughter. He put aside his legal mindset and thought about his little girl at home and what he would do if that happened to her. Jake also knew that Carl would kill the two men because Carl told him that’s what he planned to do. Jake could have tried to stop him or report him to the authorities but he didn’t. He knew in his heart that any dad would probably react the way that Carl Lee did, including himself.

So he stepped in and strongly represented Carl throughout the trial, and then ends the trial by giving the jury an intense speech about imagining if it were their little girl. So while Carl got his revenge by killing those two guys, he also gets justice brought to him by Jake. Maybe there was part of a Jake that was worried about his future as a lawyer but I believe that his main purpose was to bring about the justice that Carl Lee deserved. In The Shawshank Redemption, Red brings justice to Andy from the beginning by providing the posters and rock hammer that allow Andy to slowly chisel away at the wall in his cell and escape the prison.

I think Red sympathizes with Andy from the beginning because he can see that Andy didn’t murder his wife and her lover and he wants to help him out. I also believe that Red brought justice to Andy just by simply respecting him as a person and becoming his friend. In Cool Hand Luke, Luke brings a sense of justice to the other prisoners by standing his ground towards Dragline and also by not giving up during the fight, even though he was completely beat to a pulp. He becomes the other prisoners’ hero for what he did.

He also inspires them to excel at their daily tasks just through his attitude and energy. It brings the group closer together while also showing the guards that they can’t be brought down. Throughout the film, we see Luke prove the injustice of the system that held him for so many years. Although he basically gave up his life over a parking meter, he never once let the system break him. In Of Mice and Men, the main way that justice was defined in this film is how when Curley’s wife reels Lennie in with her charm, he ends up in a terrible situation that he never could have prevented because he wasn’t able to read or control his emotions normally due to his disability.

Lennie is treated differently throughout the entire film because of disability and no, it’s definitely not fair that the mob chased after him in hopes of lynching him. However, I do feel that justice was carried out in a proper way by George shooting Lennie and allowing him a less painful death, since it was almost inevitable that the mob was going to kill him anyway. In today’s justice system, Lennie’s disability would be taken into consideration but that’s not so much the case in Lennie’s time.

Although it’s sad and morbid to think about, maybe George killing Lennie really did him a favor because considering the society and era they lived in, Lennie’s future was doomed because people didn’t understand his disorder. It was a joke to everyone. Overall, all of the movies portray a strong level of justice and how it is carried out or not carried out, with revenge being especially apparent in A Time to Kill. Although the characters in each movie go through very different experiences, the movies are still similar because by the end of each, the main character has received the justice they deserved.