How far will an individual go to get what they desire, regardless of the consequences? Thanks to human beings obsessions, selfishness and other factors various dreadful decisions are made throughout life. Some of which can cause a complete alteration of ones future. In British Literature the majority of characters is guilty of this offense and therefore has to suffer major consequences.
In the novel Silas Marner by George Eliot, a character by the name of Godfrey Cass made a major decision that he eventually began to regret. Godfrey was the eldest son of Squire Cass, a well-respected man in the small town of Raveloe, and the heir to the Cass estate. Therefore, he had to keep the reputation as the good son. He made the mistake of marrying and having a child with Molly Farren, an opium addict. Godfrey knew his father would not agree with his position and would definitely disown him. For that reason, he made the decision to not claim Molly or their child Eppie. As the novel progresses, Molly dies and Eppie is taken in by Silas Marner. Godfrey eventually begins to feel the guilt of not claiming Eppie and decides he is ready to take on his responsibility. Unfortunately it is too late and Eppie has accepted Silas as her father causing Godfrey to live the remainder of his life on the side line. Godfreys decision caused him much unhappiness and his potential outlook on his life was ruin.
The novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier also demonstrates the selfish actions someone would take to get what they want. The main character Rebecca has a passion for power, especially over men. She was married to Maxim de Winter, the owner of Manderley, a mansion on the English coast, where she was in charge of everything and everybody. Although she was well-loved by everyone and consider very fortunate she was a promiscuous women. She committed adultery against Maxim numerous times without a thought of his feeling. Ultimately Maxim grew impatient with Rebecca and threatened to divorce her, causing Rebecca to inform him that she is pregnant for Jack Favell, her lover, and their child will be the heir to Manderley. Maxims anger overwhelms him and he murders her. Rebeccas decision, in which she thought was harmless, cost her her life.
A final example of how a persons actions affect their lifestyle is in the poem Paradise Lost. In this particular poem the character Eve is provoked in making a decision that did not only affect her life but also her better half, Adam. Eve is inferior to Adam but only by her beauty; she falls in love with her own reflection when she sees herself in a pool of water. Due to this incident she became obsessed with her beauty. Satan was able to easily persuade her into eating the forbidden fruit from The Tree of Knowledge, when he compliments her on her good looks. After Eve eats the forbidden fruit her first thought is to find Adam and have him eat the fruit as well so they would be equal. Adam eats the fruit because of his love for Eve and they both are banished from the Garden of Eden. Eves decision to eat the apple and convinced Adam to do the same caused them to lose their great paradise be forced to live in the hard world of sin. Also as punishment to the couple, Eve and all women after her will give birth in pain and must submit to their husbands and Adam and men after him will have to labor, hunt and harvest food. Eves decision brought her and Adam guilt, depression, and anger. Although they were not in paradise anymore they learned to accept what they have and make the best out of it.