Killings by Andre Dubus
The story of “Killings” by Andre Dubus looked into the themes of crime, revenge and morality. The crime committed in the story depicted the father’s love for his son and the desire to avenge his son’s death. However, his own crime led to his own destruction as he was faced with questions of morality. The character found himself in a difficult position after taking his revenge. He failed to anticipate the guilt associated with the crime he committed. Feelings of anger and righteousness are illustrated by the character throughout the story. Primarily, “Killings” concerns a crime and its consequences. The lead character, Matt Fowler goes one step too far and identifies with the evil that tragically marred his life-the murder of his son. Matt and his friend Willis Trottier executed Richard Strout, the man who killed his son. This murder was more of a private revenge than of protection but the character’s act was partially motivated by his wish to protect his wife who suffered every time she encounters their son’s murderer ( & , 2000, ). As Dubus wrote, “Ruth can’t even go out for cigarettes and aspirin....She sees him all the time. It makes her cry” ( ). While it is obviously too late to protect his son, Fowler experiences his son’s murder as an assault on his fatherhood and on his wish to protect his children. Matt could no longer tolerate watching his wife deteriorate before his eyes simply because she cannot cope with the loss of their son. Finally, he decided to bring grief resolution to both of them by killing Strout.
Fowler is extremely saddened by his act. In the story, Strout, the man who is shot, is clearly guilty but he is also a human being and that knowledge was suppressed by Fowler to kill him. At the end of the story, fowler think of Strout’s girlfriend imagining her sleeping and still unaware of his boyfriend’s death. In carrying out the deed, Fowler became isolated even to those sympathize with his violence. As a...
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