"Killings" by Andrew Dubus

Essay by kj99999College, UndergraduateA, March 2006

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Murder is a crime that can not be compared to any other. It goes against all moral laws and is even goes against the Ten Commandments. However, is there a time when murder is acceptable? Are there situations when someone has the right to take another's life? These are the question posed in the short story "Killings" by Andrew Dubus. "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."(2) The eyes of the characters are a main focus of the whole story. Without the eye, a person can see no evil. In this piece Dubus considers the idea of justice as it pertains to murder and revenge and uses the symbols of eyes and nature as contrast to convey his messages to readers.

Can murder ever be condoned? If justice wasn't served, is it ok to take justice into your own hands? Dubus illustrates a Massachusetts justice system that is based entirely on eyewitness testimony and little on common sense.

Dubus tries to convey the message that our society turns a blind eye to what is really happening. Richard Strout leaves the court room without a murder charge while the Fowlers leave seeking revenge. One of the silent killers in the story is Mary Ann Strout. If it wasn't for her, Frank would have never met Richard, and the killings would never have taken place. Mary Ann shouldn't have dragged Frank into a relationship when she was just getting over a divorce. So what causes a perfectly sane man, Matt Fowler, to commit such a heinous crime?

Matt and Ruth Fowler were two ordinary parents that loved and supported their son. When his son was taken away from him in such a violent way, Matt stops thinking...