By Jill Scott (auth.)
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Extra info for A Poetics of Forgiveness: Cultural Responses to Loss and Wrongdoing
Suppress all human emotion and compassion. ) 38 A Poetics of Forgiveness There is nothing new or original about these instructions. Like all other Tarantino allusions, the scene is borrowed from the video store of genre films, from Karate Kid to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. If we agree that, like Bill, the Bride is plucked and pasted from a number of different film styles, she has had plenty of time to master these warrior principles. But Hattori’s words are nevertheless good advice for anyone who has serious ambitions for revenge.
For Robert Soloman, revenge is not only natural but is at the foundation of our just society. When terrible things happen our own negative emotions tell us that this is injust and that something needs to be done about it: “Vengeance may be primitive, but it is still the conceptual core of justice” (quoted in Govier, Forgiveness and Revenge 4). By Soloman’s reasoning, justice requires retribution. Revenge does have its appeal. Viewers of Kill Bill may at first f linch at seeing a mother murdered in cold blood in front of her four-year-old daughter, but as time goes by and the bodies pile up, we come to like it more and more, releasing our initial disdain.
And maybe it is best that we be permitted to partake in such “jungle ethics” on screen, releasing Anger without Emotion 43 tension through the vicarious pleasure of retaliation, so that we can strive to achieve higher moral standards in real life. 31 It is interesting to note that the job of the hard-nosed revenge killer shifts from male to female in the twenty-first century, as Tarantino implies. 32 I hesitate to enter this debate and I do not specifically treat gendered attitudes and behaviors toward forgiveness in this book, but I can’t help wondering if the Bride will surprise us in the sequel and show her other side.