Character Analysis: How Evil Spawns Evil

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Ghassemi 1
Seena Ghassemi
Mr. Hindley
ENG3U
December 10, 2012
How Evil Spawns Evil: by Seena Ghassemi The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett serves as an excellent example of how humans can succumb to evil, and thus corruption. This book tells the story of David Hunter, who moved away from London a small village called Manham, in the United Kingdom, after losing his wife and daughter in a car crash. He worked in Manham as a General Practitioner for his employer, Henry Maitland, who is a paraplegic, for three years until a series of murders began. All of the targets were female. After much police work and controversy, it was revealed that Henry was the mastermind behind the murders, and Tom Mason, the town’s gardener, was Henry’s
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Henry told David, “I 'm afraid you don 't know me very well at all. You should stick to dead bodies. They 're far less complicated than people.” (Beckett 288). He said how he had been “stuck in this hole of a place,”(Beckett 290) and “patronized by these… these cattle”(Beckett 290) for thirty years. When asked about the killing he stated, “I never laid a finger on them. That was Mason, not me. I just let him off his leash.” (Beckett 290). His wife had not been killed in a car crash but by Henry personally. “I gave everything up for her! ' Henry spat. 'You want to know why I became a GP instead of a Psychologist? Because she got pregnant, so I had to get a job. And shall I tell you what 's really funny? I was in such a hurry I didn 't bother finishing my training.” (Beckett 293). Henry’s late employer did not properly check his qualifications, thus he could only get a job in Manham. Being virtually unable to find a job anywhere else, he was trapped in Manham. Thirty years of living in with the patronizing and ungrateful nature of the villagers fueled Henry’s hatred and cynicism to a dangerous degree. Henry’s abhorrence is further explained when he stated, “But the difference between you and me was that once I 'd come here I was trapped. I couldn 't leave, couldn 't walk into another job without risking being found out. You wonder that I hate this place? Manham 's my …show more content…
“And did dear Diana stand by me, do you think? Oh, no! It was all my fault! My fault she miscarried! My fault she couldn 't have any more children! My fault she started fucking other men!”(Beckett 290). Diana’s adultery and tyrannical behaviour led Henry to give way under the force of his anger, and murder her. However, once he found himself to “quite literally have the power of life or death!” (Beckett 291), he began to punish the women who were undeserving of life, in Henry’s eyes. By battling the people he saw as evil, he ironically became a detestable, vile

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