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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Essay on Killings by Andre Dubus

            The story “Killings” by Andre Dubus highlights the themes of love and revenge. It is a story about the crime committed by the two characters in the story – Richard Strout and Matt Fowler and its consequences.  Both committed the crime of murder.  The characters, however, had a different motive for committing the crime.  In the end, both crimes resulted in a tragedy for the two characters. 

In this story, Matt Fowler was described as a loving father to his children.  He was also a protective father to all his children.  He was described as a father who was fearful every time his children go out to swim in the pond or the sea, or when his children attempt to climb the oak in their backyard or when they skate in the ice during the winter season.  He was also described as a good husband to his wife.  When his wife was worried about their son’s relationship with a married woman he was quick to reassure her that every thing will be alright.  He was also described to be a good friend to Willis. 

            His love for his children drove Matt to take revenge against Richard Strout who was the person responsible for killing Frank Fowler.  Matt Fowler was devastated when he lost his beloved son.   Ever since the killing happened there was not a single day that passed that Matt did not think about taking revenge against Richard Strout.  As Andre Dubus wrote, “And beneath his listless wandering, every day in his soul he shot Richard Strout in the face.”  He wanted revenge. Even his other children wanted to take revenge. In his mind, murder was justified as Richard Strout was not punished for his crime and he continued to roam around after he posted bail.  Dubus wrote, “'He walks the Goddamn streets…'I know. He was in my place last night, at the bar. With a girl.'” He felt that it was upon him to seek justice for what happened to his son. 

            Matt Fowler gave in to his emotion.  With the help of Willis he shot Richard Strout point blank.  Subsequently, each of them held the arm of Richard Strout, pulled his face down off the road and dragged his lifeless body into the wood.  Subsequently, they pulled the branches, dragged Richard to the edge of the hole and pushed him.  The murder was vicious and brutal.  It was premeditated and done against someone who had no opportunity to retaliate or defend himself.  The manner by which he killed Richard Strout showed the anger and hatred he had against him.  It reflects the emotion of a father who lost his son.  It reflects the desperate attempt of a father to find justice for the crime committed against his family.  Legally, the circumstances by which the murder was done would have been enough to ensure that he receives the heaviest penalty.  Morally, he committed a violation of the cardinal law of God.   

            It may be argued that Matt Fowler is justified in killing Richard Strout.  His beloved son was killed.  However, I feel that the killing of Richard Strout is unjustifiable and senseless.  First, there is nothing Matt Fowler can do that can ever bring back the life of his beloved son.  The pain brought about by the death of Frank will never be relieved simply by taking the life of Richard.  Moreover, the killing of Richard will only compound the family’s hardship.  Eventually, the police will find out about Richard’s death and an investigation will point to Matt Fowler as the primary suspect.  He will be charged and convicted for the crime.  When he is placed behind bars his family will not only be grieving over the loss of Frank Fowler but they will also have to deal with the imprisonment of Matt Fowler.  Also, killing another person is wrong regardless of the reason for doing so. 

On the other hand, Matt Fowler’s crime is compared with the crime committed by Richard Strout.  In this story, Richard Strout was described as a man of loose morals.  He was violent, selfish and spoiled. He was described as a violent man because he once beat Frank Strout because he was dating his wife who was seeking divorce.  He was also described as a man of loose morals as there were stories that even during his marriage with Mary Ann he was having an affair with another woman.  He killed Frank Strout in a fit of jealousy.  It may appear that Richard’s killing of Frank is much worse and that Matt has legitimate reasons to kill Richard.  It may be argued that Richard had no justification in killing Frank while Matt was justified in killing Richard.

Yet, murder is a crime no matter what the circumstance is.  When a person kills another in cold blood a crime of murder is committed.  Murder should be punished.  The law does not inquire the reasons for committing the crime. The law is not interested to find out the reason that could have driven a person to commit the crime of murder. 

My opinion towards Matt’s crime did not change.  The crime he committed against Richard is essentially the same as the crime Richard committed against Frank.  In essence, there is no substantial difference in the crime committed by both characters.  Both of them killed a human being in cold blood.  Both of them should be punished.  There is no justification for it.  

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1 comment:

  1. this look story not essay..but i like this story alot it has suspense and thrill in it. Custom Term paper writing services