The similarities and differences between clear-cut sadism without sexual pleasure, moral masochism, and sexual sadomasochism are confusing. Society’s version of cruelty can either serve an erotic purpose or be a bald-faced exercise of power. The true evildoer simply lacks sufficient imagination to put himself in the other one’s shoes. A lack of empathy is what makes cruelty possible. The narrator has a very hard time identifying with these feelings of hate and aggression, which are thus vehemently denied. Harshness or cruelty simply cannot exist in mother or grandmother, and neither can his own feelings of revenge. Marcel Proust often describes cruel party games, which he calls “the public execution”. Delighting in injustice, not in reality but as an exciting erotic game, is more for oversensitive, nervous maniacs such as Charlus, Proust reassures us. Proust rightfully emphasises the difference between a cold-blooded act of violence or murder and the harmless phantasy world of the sadomasochist.