Terrorism is the usage of violence or mass destruction to gain political or religious ends. In the novel After the First Death the author Robert Cormier attempts to shape our response to terrorism. Cormier uses, characters as a tool, to shape the reader’s response towards terrorism. Cormier does this through fully laying out the characters’ emotions, thoughts, beliefs and the usuage of the plot.
Since everybody show some emotion to something, emotions is something every reader can relate to. Robert Cormier uses the emotions of Miro, Kate and the children to shape the readers response towards terrorism. Miro is a young boy who is about to kill his first victim. The reader’s response to this would be a sense of anger because killing is against our values and moral beliefs. Cormier manipulates the reader to feel a certain way about Miro. Cormier explained to the reader, in detail, what happened throughout Miro’s life, and how he grew up. Knowing his circumstances the reader now feels sympathetic towards Miro, instead of feeling hatred towards him. This is due to Cormier using the manipulation of emotions. This shows that in terrorism, the terrorists usually had big problems growing up.
Kate was going to be Miro’s first victim. Readers normally feel remorse towards victims. Again Cormier attempts to manipulate these responses. He makes the reader see Kate rather annoying, because she does not believe in herself. This makes the reader feel frustrated with Kate, because she can not make a proper decision and keep asking questions to herself and leaving them unanswered. “One question remained. Could she take that chance? Could she actually try to drive the bus out of here? Could she ever be that brave?” The fact that Cormier manipulated the reader to see Kate as kind of annoying made the reader not feel as sympathetic towards her when she died in the end. She kept on trying to lie to Miro and this again frustrates the reader. Cormier shapes the reader’s response...
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