Revenge In The Short Story 'Killings' By Andre Dubus

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Revenge There comes a time in everyone 's life where they have been wronged by another person. Whether it was someone stealing your lunch out of the company fridge or finding out your lover has been carrying out an affair behind your back, it is human nature to want to seek revenge. However, taking the high road and turning the other cheek is the moral thing to do. What if someone killed your only child would that change anything on the matter? In the short story titled “Killings”, author Andre Dubus reflects the desire to seek revenge by appealing to the readers ethics and emotions. The story “Killings” is about a young man who falls in love with a married woman but gets murdered by her husband. After the justice system fails in keeping the…show more content…
Dubus has the reader questioning if inflicting revenge on Richard is ethical thing to do since the legal system failed in serving the appropriate punishment. In the story, Matt is thinking about taking Richard 's life because he killed his son and Dubus has the reader on his side. Releasing Richard on bail is an unjust decision made by the legal system because the crime does not match the punishment. Nobel peace prize winner Martin Luther King Jr says “ How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others? The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” (1285-1286). Although Martin Luther King Jr is talking about the social injustice Africans Americans were facing in the 1960s, this also relates to how the reader and Matt feels about the legal system. Matt is not content with the unjust verdict that was reached by the legal system so it is time for him to take matter into his own hands. Taking matter into his own hands means killing Richard to complete his revenge, but when he does it is clear it was not the ethical thing to do. Reason being that even though Richard killed Matt 's son, Frank was still dead and nothing could change that. Matt 's felt unfulfilled with killing Matt and when he tells Ruth what happened he says “ the words had no…show more content…
Not only is a emotional relationship being setup for Frank, but also one for Matt. Dubus tells of the love Matt has for his son and describes just how devastating it was to lose him. For example, “ So he and his children survived their childhood, and he only worried about them when he knew they were driving long distances, and then he lost Frank in a way no father expected to lose his son, and he felt that all the fears he had borne while they were growing up, and all the grief he had been afraid of, had backed up like a huge wave and struck him on the beach and swept him out to sea”(1129). For a brief time the readers of this short story can imagine the pain for Matt and even though he his a fictional character, he receives the deepest sympathy. Understanding the emotional connection between father and son is key in how Dubus telling a story of revenge. If the reader did not care for Frank then there wouldn 't be such a great impacted when he is murdered. The creation of the reader 's relationship not just with Frank, but with Matt is appealing to there emotions and is
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