McDuff V. McDuff: Lesser of Two Evils

Essay by EniseCCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2014

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Camille 5

Enise Camille

Professor Brahlek

ENC1101 M 6:30 PM

Monday, March 31, 2014

McDuff vs. McDuff: Lesser of Two Evils

Since the beginning of time, there has been a constant battle- one that rages within and causes man to conclude, "I am my worst enemy." No great story has ever been told without a conflict that causes the main character to question even himself- such is the story The Culprit. Dr. Sean McDuff, a professor at CSC, has recently lost his wife and been diagnosed with a terminal illness. These are some of the traumatic events that cause McDuff to come to the conclusion that the only way out is literally to "exterminate the brutes" (64)-his colleagues and himself. Despite this decision that almost seems inevitable, he begins a battle that ultimately leads him to "doing the right thing". From his first thought of suicide to his first thought of actually wanting to live, McDuff is restless as he conjures up a selfish act that unsuspectingly leads to a selfless act.

By all appearances, McDuff is "known for his demonically attractive sense of humor, and a tendency arising from certain recollections that sometimes provide[s] a jolly rush akin to…daffodils" (2). Yet, underneath that demeanor lies a man who is filled with "real energy-sucking Hate" (3), confessing that a "horrendous and bloody destruction" (3) would "give him a spiritual orgasm" (3). In the readers' first glimpse into McDuff's stream of consciousness, he confesses that he now "knows why seemingly happy and sane people kill themselves" (2). He goes on to confess that life is full of "horrific hollows" (2). Rationally, wanting to take only his life is understandable and the lesser of two evils. However, his mind, body, and soul become effected by toxins that enable him to joke of...