"Killings" a Character Sketch

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Stephen Hunt

Professor Wolf

LIT115 - 201

03 Sept. 2011

“Richard Strout, a Character Sketch”

Richard Strout plays the role of the antagonist in Andre Dubus’ story “Killings”. The character Richard Strout on the surface is a stereotypical spoiled ex-jock, with violent tendencies. There is more to this character though hidden below the surface. He is insecure. Richard Strout is as much a victim as Frank, the man that was sleeping with Richard’s wife.

Richard was a one time a successful High School athlete who had earned a “football scholarship to the University of Massachusetts” (p.98). Richard on the surface had it all. Richard was misunderstood and possibly pressured by others to be what they wanted him to be. It is entirely possible that Richard didn’t want to be a college football player but instead just find a girl to fall in love with and raise a family in his hometown. Clearly Richard was capable of being successful at the University level, he just did not want it and people knew it “Dickie can do the work; he just doesn’t want to” (p.98).

Richard returned home confused and conflicted. He wanted marriage and a family, but instead his insecurities caused him to find a wife much like himself. Richard and his young wife Mary Ann were rumored to be having extra-marital indiscretions, “the marriage had gone bad early, and for most of it Richard and Mary Ann had both played around” (p.99). This was a recipe for tragedy. Unable to control himself and fearful of losing what he loved and wanted Richard’s insecurities led him to kill, when all he really wanted was to love.

Stephen Hunt

Professor Wolf

LIT115 - 201

03 Sept. 2011

“Fiesta, 1980”

A plot summary

In “Fiesta, 1980” a short story by Junot Diaz we follow a day in the life of an immigrant family from the Dominican Republic. On the surface the story is about a family that is preparing to travel to a party for some relatives. The real story that comes out...
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