Cornell Woolrich's It Had To Be Murder

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Cornell Woolrich’s short story, “It Had to Be Murder” recounts the events of a temporarily disabled man and his journey involving isolation and voyeurism. In the beginning of the narrative, the main character is described as displaying the characteristics of a “peeping tom”. Because of his injury and inability to be amused by anything else, he begins to habitually watch the personal and intimate details of other people through their windows. This habitual watching then leads him to the main conflict of the story. Though the narrator’s voyeurism may be seen as obsessive and somewhat delusional it evidently bought closure and justice to another person’s life. It is easy to deem his voyeuristic activities as disturbing and under most other cases it is an extreme invasion of privacy but in the case of the narrator and his conflict, it was necessary.…show more content…
In fact, the narrator states that his voyeurism “could (…) have been mistaken for the fevered concentration of a Peeping Tom,” but “that wasn’t [his] fault, that wasn’t the idea” (Woolrich 1). The voyeurism he experiences was only a direct effect of his injury and isolation from the rest of the world. Meaning that, had the narrator not been injured he probably would not have partaken in voyeurism habits. Through his perspective, it was only his way of passing time and feeling sane. Even though he is invading and intruding into other people’s lives, the gratification he gets will only be temporarily and more than likely will stop once his injury is healed and he is allowed to be part and interact with society
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