Hostage Short Story Summary

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“The shrink’s office was in Manhattan. The locks were a joke. I went back there one day and pulled my file. It made interesting reading. PTSD, fundamental lack of empathy, blunted affect, addicted risk taker.” This is the description of the protagonist in the short story “Hostage” by Andrew Vachss. And this description of Walker, the protagonist, by a department shrink (psychologist or psychiatrist) fits very well. Throughout this short story we get more and more evidence that Walker is indeed a psychopath, especially in the end of the story when Walker goes on to kill a person cold-bloodedly. The end is indeed surprising, but only for someone who has not paid attention to what type of character Walker is. The plot begins in medias res: “I’ve got a gun aimed right at her head. See? Take a look for yourselves. You make one move to come in here, I’ll blow her away!” The man was on the top of a three-story building in Brooklyn.” We get to know the main character later on, and it is also later that Walker reveals his past. So the flashbacks connected to both his life and the life of another important character in this story are kept for a later time. In the opening we get to know the situation, and also the main conflict of this story, which is a hostage crisis. That is also why this story is called “Hostage”, and that…show more content…
What he really wants is the following: “Mark and I [..] have an offer. He’s going to let his mother come out. In exchange you drop the charges against him. No jail for Mark, you understand?” It is clear that he just wants to get another chance, and also that he isn’t someone who enjoys to look at people suffering. Therefore you could say that Weston and Walker, despite having a tough past, are completely different, one of them is a cold-blooded killer, while the other is insecure and repentant of his
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