Killings By Andre Dubus Analysis

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For hundreds of years, people have used art as a way of portraying strong emotions such as passion, lust and joy. One of the more powerful of these emotions is that of loss, which is often portrayed as a overwhelming and devastating feeling. Various forms of art have different ways of conveying emotions, whether it be through the use of melody in music, with colors in paintings or through the thoughts and actions of characters in literature. Several characters in Andre Dubus’ “Killings” clearly display their feelings of loss in the story through the way they are characterized and this highlights the devastating power that loss has on those who are forced to experience it. The protagonist of the story, the grieving father of Matt,…show more content…
One example of how Ruth’s sorrow is shown to the reader is early in the story when the narrator introduces Ruth, saying that “Ruth’s arm, linked with Matt’s tightened, he looked at her. Beneath her eyes there was swelling from the three days she had suffered” (111). This introduction to Ruth’s character is able to display her feelings of loss because of the fact that one of the first traits the reader learns about Ruth is that she had cried for three days after the loss of Frank, which does clearly show her sorrow because of the fact that three days is definitely a strangely long time to be crying for, especially since it seems like the entire family, besides her, had already moved on from crying about the loss. Another example of how Ruth is affected by loss is shown the night of Richard’s murder when Matt reflects on how “he believed Ruth knew...When Ruth said good night she looked at his face, and he felt she could see see in his eyes the gun, and the night he was going to” (116-117). The significance of this memory is that it shows the reader that Ruth is fully aware of the fact that Matt is preparing to kill Richard that night and that she is also alright with letting him go and commit murder, and likely the only possible reason why a sweet woman like Ruth would be willing to let her husband murder another human being would be because of her grieving, and the belief this loss gave her and her husband that it was morally acceptable to kill Richard because he murdered their son. Overall, that is how Ruth appears to be suffering from loss as seen through her thoughts and
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