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"Killings" by Andre Dubus's,.

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"Killings" by Andre Dubus's,.

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  • June 11, 2003
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Killings

Revenge, loss and consequences are explored in Andre Dubus's, "Killings". A jealous husband, angered by the fact that his estranged wife is involved in a new relationship, acts out in a presumable crime of passion and murders the man she was seeing. As a result of this crime, a father suffers the loss of his son and plots retaliation, which results in the killing of his son's murderer. Both men experience a loss and subsequently act out in revenge. The difference in the moral character of these two men is what appears to determine the fate of their consequences.

Richard Strout, a man of inferior morality, commits a crime of passion. He murders a man who is having a relationship with his estranged wife. Strout is portrayed in the story as being a spoiled, selfish, violent man. The pending divorce between he and his wife obviously left him feeling conflicted over the loss of control and he is angered by the fact that she was seeing another man so quickly after the separation. There appears to be no feelings of regret or remorse from Strout after the murder. He seems to feel completely justified in the killing and even makes the statement, "He was making it with my wife" (Dubus 90). Strout's lack of moral character is a key element in his being able to live with himself after committing this crime. His personal consequences seemed to be few, if any.

Matt Fowler is portrayed in the story as being a man of great moral fortitude; he is a sensitive, loving husband, a protective father and a respected friend. The brutal murder of his son catapults him into a position in which he feels compelled to avenge the death. The conflict that Fowler feels after his son is killed is overwhelming to him. Fowler feels that removing his son's murderer from the world he and his family live in will ease his wife's pain. His concern and compassion towards is wife is obvious when he says in the story, "She sees him all the time. It makes her cry" (Dubus 85). Killing...