At the end of "The Lagoon", what does Arsat plan to do?Bury Diamelen, seek revenge, or forgive the killers?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of the story, Arsat plans to seek revenge.  The white man Tuan is leaving the lagoon and urges Arsat to come with him, but Arsat refuses.  Arsat's forbidden lover Diamelen has died, and Arsat feels that there is nothing left in the world for him.  He resolves to return among his enemies and fight them on behalf of his brother, who is also dead.  Arsat's brother died trying to hold off angry tribesmen who were sent to bring Diamelen back to their noble leader, whose concubine she was.  Arsat feels responsible for his brother's death, and must bear the guilt for deserting him so that he could enjoy a new life with Diamelen.

Despite his resolve to earn a measure of redemption for his past weaknesses, Arsat's decision is devoid of meaning because he has already lost everything.  In order to pursue love, which in actuality is a noble objective, he has had to act with cowardice and treachery towards his own brother, and now both his lover and his brother are gone.  Arsat tells Tuan that "he can see nothing" in a world where there is no purity of motives, nor clarity between what is right and what is not.