1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    How long can someone hold a grudge?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Link the Writer, Dec 4, 2011.

    Before it becomes unrealistic?

    See, Heridon (who is hard of hearing), when he was in his elementary/middle school days, once attended a local school for the deaf and blind. From 1st grade to 8th grade, had to contend with a really snotty teacher who showed her true nature with her students (in private, of course, not wanting to loose her job with superiors. She's a crafty, manipulative, controlling *****). When he had her in his 7th year, he experienced the worse from her. Since the school also had students who were not deaf/blind, he had the misfortune of being the only deaf kid in her class and thus, was picked on by her.

    Now he's in his early/mid-twenties and his deaf cousin now attends the school. Worse, the teacher still works there. (Remember, she's pretty clever and knows how to keep herself out of trouble.) Though he doesn't have to deal with her on a daily basis anymore, he still holds a grudge against her.

    But is it realistic? He hadn't been in that school for almost a decade. I think it's okay since people IRL can hold a grudge over something to their grave. But would that include a grudge over a horrible teacher they had back when they were a child?

    I figured that could be a good character flaw for him: An inability to let go of the past and all that, so that's why I have him holding a grudge for that long.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. blandmanblind
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    blandmanblind Member

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    Absolutely.

    It is my opinion that grudges aren't something we carry with us all the time. It's more like luggage. We always have it, even though it may be tucked away in the back of our closets. Re-exposure to a particular grudge, especially in the situation you describe, a relative, similarly handicapped with an unrepentent and unpunished teacher, he could realistically still hold that grudge and in addition by hostile and vengeful. Perhaps, to the point of attempting to use his relation to "draw out" and "catch" the teacher in the act.

    Any light you shine on Heridon suffering similar bullying later on, and his inability to do anything about it, only humanizes his grudge more. It would make any desire he has to "right the wrong" done to him seem more natural.

    You've described a very sympathetic case for a man to still be hateful, and for the purposes of literature, be able to justify to himself a wide range of tactics for restitution.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    It would also explain why he's so determined to help out the people he cares about; because he doesn't want them to go through the same thing he went through.

    It could also explain why he seems to have developed a lack of empathy toward unrepented people.
     
  4. agentkilljoy_v
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    agentkilljoy_v Member

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    People can carry a grudge for a long time. Trust me, I have held grudges against others for quite a while and I will not be happy until they die. Even then with one person I will not be satisfied until I pee on their grave. Yes, it might sound childish, it might even seem stubborn but the circumstances require a golden shower on this person's tombstone.
     
  5. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    People are different, some forgive or let go something bad or wrong done to them the next day, others keep it till death. I, for example, don't forget nor let go anything like that easily, I basically imprint those people as worthless crap, and then leave the memories be, no point worrying myself over the past. When it comes to bad teachers, I've had some experience with that, at least I stood up to one in particular in the end.
    If someone has treated you very wrong, why should you forget it? Instead you remember and avoid that person the best you can and if avoiding is impossible it means revenge, standing up to the person, or something like that.
    Also, the feeling of letting go feels very good.
     
  6. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I would first try and define what a grudge mean.
    Not all of us wlll understand what a grudge is because not all of us have it on us.
    So I would not spend too much time on it in case someone does not get what you are trying to achieve.
    I for example hold 'no such thing as grudge'.I don't have that capability in me to sustain something that does not feel right.
    If I understand it correctly it is something that one hold against their own will against another person.
    So if you are to describe it you will have to go into details of what is a grudge and wether it achieves anyhting in your story.
    I am guessing a grudge could be all sorts a mixture of negatives vibes towards another person but is it a grudge if it goes on for more then a necessary is the question.
    If something goes on forever, then I would not call it a grudge anymore, but more a self inflicted something that the individual has sustained against/for themselves and do not know how to control, meaning to stop or make it go away, anymore.
    A grudge is for a short period of time only.
    A long ongoing one has a different meaning all together.
    This is my take on it.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a single name for you. Dante Alighieri. That dude is STILL holding a grudge against Florence.

    He was exiled with a bunch of other people due to political reasons in 1301, I believe.

    They were all later told that if they paid a tribute, they could return. Some of them did. Dante didn't.
    They were all later told they could have free amnesty. All of them returned... except for Dante.

    Even after his death, people made sure he never forgave Florence. Earlier this year, a tribute was performed/something'd to Dante in Florence. His descendants didn't accept it, in true Alighieri fashion.
     
  8. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    If it's my mother, the answer is FOREVER. In arguments she will still bring up stuff you did 15, 20 years ago like it was still a fresh wound!

    So it doesn't necessarily depend on how big the grudge is, more on the person. Someone can hold a grudge for something another person would perceive as quite petty, whereas someone else might have suffered the most hideous abuse and forgive the person instantly.
     
  9. MassThinker
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    MassThinker Active Member

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    I agree with the person above me. Mothers. They remember everything, and brings it up. My mother even remembers every little mistake my father did. When she''s not to happy at me. Then she can say I am just like him. Mothers. Or children can without showing it.
     
  10. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    I'm 22 and I still hate/fear my first grade teacher, who made my life a misery for a year befire she retired. If I ran into her I'd be cold and distant and leave as soon as possible, if I heard she was teaching a child I cared about I'd freak out. If he'd been an adult when he'd had his altercation with her, then it would be kind of long to hold a grudge, but stuff that happened to you as a child shapes who you are and how you see the world. Your childhood stays with you for your entire life. It's really hard to let go of something that happened to you as a kid.
     

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