From Revenge to Forgiveness: Miles Ryan’s Attitude Towards His Past and His Future in Nicholas Sparks’ A Bend In The Road (A Moral Philosophical Approach)

Oleh :
Chrisinta Anggraeni - C0307016 - Fak. Sastra dan Seni Rupa

The first objectives of this research are to describe revenge and forgiveness in moral philosophical point of view as it is seen from utilitarian theory. The second objective is to describe the way Nicholas Sparks portrays revenge and forgiveness morally with elaboration to his idea of both attitude in Christian value. Seen from moral philosophical point of view, this research emphasizes in the process of Miles Ryan’s consideration before taking decision. The result of his decision is associated with the moral value in general understanding of revenge and forgiveness. Aside from that, it is also associated with contextual situation that is experienced by Miles Ryan in the story.
This research uses a descriptive qualitative method. Main data of this research were all taken from the novel starting from event sequences, main and supporting character’s act during the process of getting to know each other, and the narration in the novel. As the theoretical concept of moral, to conclude the right and wrong, the research uses John Stuart Mill’s theory of moral philosophy called Utilitarianism. Since it uses moral philosophical approach, author’s vision is to be taken into account. Thus it contains Christian values as depicted in the Bible to look at the character’s attitude in the work. Another supporting concept that is added in the research is from Michael McCollough’s concept of forgiveness that presents many kind of forgiveness to classify Miles Ryan’s forgiveness.
Through the research scholars can study about how reasonable a desire of revenge to happen to a particular person with a specific situation. The more Miles insist on taking revenge would be the more difficult for him to get over his past, hence the more difficult for him to forgive. In the last moment he learned to perform forgiveness although it was not the ideal type of forgiveness as describe in the concept. The elaboration between utilitarian principle, author’s vision through Christian values, and forgiveness concept attempts to find out the possibility of how both attitudes can happen as well as its judgment based on the theory.
Keywords: revenge, forgiveness, moral philosophy, utilitarianism