Not Justified In Andre Dubus 'Killings'

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In Andre Dubus’ short story, “Killings,” a question of morality is brought up, can killing be justified. Richard Strout in an act of passion kills Matt Fowler’s son. Fowler plans his own justice by killing Strout. Are either of these killings justified? What are Fowler’s consequences for his actions? When these two killings are compared, the main difference is that Fowler planned and prepared for his murder while Richard acted in the heat of the moment. In the laws eyes that makes Fowler’s killing worse because it is premeditated. Each of these killings has a clear motive or reason but that does not mean they are justified. The legal definition of murder differs depending on where you are, but is best defined as follows, “the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who…show more content…
The fear of getting caught will also haunt him to the end of his days. This fear will even separate him from his living children for their knowledge of his actions could put them in harms way. The strain within the family does not end with his children but is compounded by his wife. She realizes what has happened and takes pleasure in the act that haunts him. This strain is not just emotional but also bleeds into the physical realm when Fowler becomes impotent, “She was holding him, wanting him, and he wished he could make love with her but he could not” (Dubus 1136). In an effort to fix a wrong doing against his family Fowler has exacerbated the situation. The killings in the short story, “Killings”, are murders. There is not justification for murder. The killings therefore are not justified. Not only is Fowler’s murder of Strout not justified but instead of bringing peace and closure to a grieving family, it inflamed an already infected
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