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The story “The
Killings”, written by Andre Dubus, is about the crimes committed by the two
characters, Richard Strout and Matt Fowler. A short story about father’s love
for his son to exact revenge by killing the murderer, but soon is caught up
with the action that lead to his own destruction.
commits a crime of passion: he murders the man who is having an affair with his
estranged wife. He is incensed when he finds out that his wife was seeing
another man while the divorce is still pending. After the killing he feels to
be quite justified and do not feel a bit of remorse of what he has done. He
never seems to mind the consequences but continue the life he lives. Strout is
depicted in the short story as an amoral and man of passion.
Matt Fowler is a
man of great moral fortitude. He is faced with the questions of morality when
his son is murdered, and seeing his wife suffering for the loss of their son he
is motivated by private revenge-on the part of the child-, and protection for
the safety of his wife. Fowler performed
the act with his friend Willis Trottier, and they both killed Strout. Instead
of feeling a sense of satisfaction and justification over his son’s death he is
overcome with a profound sense of isolation.
The title itself
defines the whole story. Revenge is hinted at right at the beginning of the
story. The writer uses the third person point of view, where the reader is able
to see the family’s ways of coping through the loss. Dubus provide a
conventional plot pattern where the characters are confronted with a problem,
reached into the climax then finally came to a resolution in the end. Dubus
adds in flashbacks so that the reader can fully understand the actions and
behaviors of the characters. Matt Fowler and Richard Strout are both the
murderers and victims of the story. The writer wanted to set the mood at the
start of the story – a mother with a broken heart and the father who is torn
between contemplating crime and doing what is morally right. The story began to
get a little predictable in the rising action but as the plot thickened Matt
Fowler begins to question the plan on how Robert could be taken care of. The couple decided to take revenge on their
own hands on the basis they are concerned that the system will not punish
Strout enough. After murdering Strout and burying the body, Matt returns home. Ruth
is aware of what Matt has done, and is relieved and desirious of her husband
after learning of the revenge. But Matt became a different person(Dubus, 1979) (Johnson, 2011).
Andre Dubus uses
symbolism to describe the person’s confrontation with morality has to deal with
hoping to end his family’s suffering and his own internal struggles to
stop.Dubus uses the eye as a symbol of
showing love and sympathy, anger andpain.
movies, the main characters who are wronged or have their family killed, money
and property are taken away shot, stab, massacre those who injure them or take
law into their own hands and the watchers feel that the justice has been done. What
makes Matt Fowler different from revenge heroes portrayed in film is he knows
that killing Richard is morally wrong. After Matt finally accomplishes his goal
of killing Strout, his own internal struggles escalates and couldn’t find
satisfaction so he went to isolation, cut out from his family, time and
history. He could not tell to his children what he did to Richard, thus he will
continue to live in pain. Matt is a
sympathetic character, completely blameless with the events in the story until
his son was killed.
Andre. "Killings." The Sewanee Review (1979): 197-218.
Daniel, and Susan Bandes. "ELICITING AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE: An Analysis of
Revenge and the Criminal Justice System." (2011).
Closer Look on the Effects of Promoting Abstinence and Birth Control to Teens
Should U.S. schools educate students about birth control, or promote sexual abstinence instead?
is defined as the act of abstaining from sexual intercourse. This is being
taught to many teenagers to protect them from unwanted pregnancies, which has
escalated at an alarming rate over the past decade (Males, 2010). The number of
young adults with sexually transmitted diseases also increases, making the
issue on pre-marital sex one of the debates in the society. In many countries,
teenagers are being given sex education with an emphasis on abstinence to
lessen the rate of early and unwanted pregnancies.
are a lot of reasons why teens are encouraged to be abstinent until they are
married. Aside from unwanted pregnancy and the idea that pre-marital sex is
morally wrong, sexual intercourse even before marriage may also cause them
diseases like STD and HIV AIDS. Education on abstinence does not focus on
information about different methods of birth control because those who promote
abstinence believe that this technique is already effective in discouraging the
youth to engage in pre-marital sex.
the other hand, many people disagree. Those who oppose the promotion of
abstinence believe that there is no guarantee that teens will engage in
pre-marital sex even if they say that they won’t. Many of the young adults have
in fact started to experiment with sex at younger ages. Further, by telling the
teens to be abstinent would only make them more curious and interested to have
educating the youth about birth control, they become aware of the options that
are available if they will choose to have sexual intercourse. The youth will be
able to learn about the different methods of preventing pregnancy and even
provided with lots of information about their possible choices. Abstinence
education, on the other hand, does not involve information on contraception.
Teens, in abstinence education, are spared the emotional and psychological
trauma that comes with unwanted pregnancy. Young girls who became pregnant at a
very young age affirm the unhappiness, regret, and depression incurred during
and after the pregnancy.
both ways of saving the teens from having kids at a very young age and getting
diseases from engaging in pre-marital sex have advantages and disadvantages.
But looking at the bigger picture, one could say that the evolution of the
world in terms of technology, fashion, and other trends affect this societal
problem. Every day, teenagers see hundreds of product advertisements on
television, magazines, and billboards that convey sexual messages. They see
movies or television show with people doing or even depicting sex, making them
more aware and interested about it.
though dispositions towards media may vary, research shows that the media
portrayal of sex influence the young audience’s perceptions on sexual
activities (Gunter, 2002). Sex is used to sell products and portrayed as a way
to attain a status in the group or society. The teen idols are even portrayed
as objects for sexual pleasure. The products being sold in the market are
associated with sex. With all these around, adolescent find it hard to get away
from it. Teens that are exposed to sex through the mainstream media are
absolutely more likely to engage in sexual activity (Jones, 2006).
young adults to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases
will be a shared responsibility of parents, peers, school, and society. Teens
can only be encouraged to be abstinent if they are not exposed to a lot of
information from media and community that these teens belong to. But with
availability of sources on sexual information, teens must also be taught the importance
of birth control. This important information is not meant to encourage them to
engage to pre-marital sex but rather help them to have an informed choice.
B. (2002). Media Sex: What Are The
Issues? USA: Routledge
a) Describe why it is important for criminal justice professionals to study ethics.
b) Explain how applying ethical approaches assists criminal justice professionals in making appropriate and correct decisions.
referred to as moral philosophy, is a field of philosophy that deals with
questions regarding what is right, wrong, good, bad and how individuals should
live. Typically people assign right and wrong with their or other people’s
behaviors, conduct, or action. It provides us with a way to decide which is
which when we are uncertain about the proper thing to do in a situation. Ethics
is often used is various industries and fields primarily because it acts as a guide
in making difficult decisions especially when dealing with moral issues (Sage
justice system as well as law enforcement are just some of the fields that
greatly benefits the use of ethics. This is largely because this field, more than
any other, deals with the concept of right and wrong on a daily basis. And more
often than not, police and other law enforcement officers find themselves
caught in scenarios when emotions and other personal values could get in the
way of ensuring a proper legal procedure. Furthermore, using instincts and even
emotions does not offer a proper solution to a moral dilemma. This is where
ethics come in. Ethical consideration allows the police to come up with
enlightened judgments which involve due process, discretion and force (Sage 2).
importance of ethics in policing, enables an individual to analyze and even
question assumptions not commonly raised in areas such as politics and
business. It allows the person to raise and take action on important issues
such as the relation of justice and crime, authority, role of law enforcement,
role of prison as well punishment and its limit. Ethics enable common
individuals to question and be active on things that matter instead of blindly
accepting whatever that is handed to them (Sage 3).
practicing ethics is particularly important in law enforcement and policing.
This is because it increases the individual’s sense of right and wrong, thus
guiding them on how to properly and professionally conduct themselves.
Similarly, it enables them to properly carry out their job functions and
responsibilities. Likewise, ethics assists law officials in identifying
questionable actions such as bribery among many others (Sage 3).
justice system will also find studying and practicing ethics in their field as
it develops the capacity of a criminal justice professional in pointing moral
reasoning in times behaviors and actions are being justified. This means that
it develops their skills in making ethical decisions. In addition, ethics can
help professionals behave and act responsibly and accordingly. It is important
to note that this profession involves exercising authority as well as power
over other people. In some cases, they are even authorized to use physical
coercion and force. Abusing these privileges and power can be very tempting.
Ethics however functions as a crucial guide to professionals particularly when
they are tasked to carry decisions which involve force and discretion among
others (Sage 4).
Ethics is also
crucial in management and policy making within the criminal justice system.
Being able to discern and exercise moral judgement allows professionals to come
up with decisions regarding punishments. It allows them to properly weigh choices
such as whether to imprison or rehabilitate a person. Similarly, ethics allows
the individual to trust his or her decision as it has the knowledge that it was
done not only for the greater good but also with the consideration of the
offender’s best interest (Sage 4).
Importance of Ethics in Criminal Justice. 30 January 2004.
Sage Publications. 19 January
Over the last
century man was able to perfect the process of mass food production. From the
meat and dairy products up to fruits and vegetables, everything inside in the
supermarket is now being mass produced. And although this intensive production
system is a billion dollar industry, the media as well as activist groups are
now highlighting the limitations as well as the cruelty involved in food
companies’ mass production methods. The true nature of this industry was
exposed in the documentary film Food Inc.
The documentary Food Inc. provides a glimpse of
corporate farming in the United States. It particularly exposes the unhealthy,
harmful, and even abusive process behind the agribusiness. The documentary
immediately opens with the scene of a typical America supermarket. What is
noticeable about most of the products in the grocery is the packaging of the
products. In fact, most of the products in the shelf often give the idea that
it is “naturally” produced in a farm surrounded by green pastures by local
farmers. This marketing method gives the consumers a false image of how and
what is behind the production of such items. Instead of a pastoral farm,
products such as meat are actually processed in a huge industrial slaughter
house. Hundreds, if not thousands of cow carcasses are transferred using a
conveyor belt inside a factory-like slaughter house. Cows are likewise fed with
corn despite the fact that this is not their natural food. This is done by the
company because of the cheap cost of corn and at the same time it speeds up
their development. Alternately, chickens are raised in cramped chicken houses
where they are given growth hormones so that they will develop faster and ready
for production. These chickens are similarly cramped by the thousands where
they neither see nor feel the sunlight. These graphic representation largely
contradicts that “farm fresh” image presented by the companies. What is even
more interesting to point out is that these products are not properly labeled by
the companies. Instead, consumers are given the false idea about how it is
these, the documentary also highlights the detrimental effects of modifying the
animals’ diet both on the environment and human’s health. This is underlined in
the story of Barbara Kowalcyk. Barbara talks about her advocacy regarding food
safety and how the death of her 2-year old son from E-coli pushed her to lobby
to the US Congress to pass a legislation for stricter and more effective USDA
food testing regulation. This part of the documentary gives us an insight of
the negative impact of mass produced animal products. Similarly, it shows the
viewers how children can sometimes suffer because of the lenient regulations of
food safety as well as the carelessness of these food companies.
important part of the documentary is the illegal practices of these huge food
conglomerates when it comes to labor. Illegal Mexican immigrants are employed
as workers for the primary reason that their labor cost is cheap and that the
company need not spend on benefits. The film likewise showed the cruel
practices of this labor when it comes to slaughtering the animals.
The images shown
in the documentary only goes to show that there is so much injustice and
deception that happens behind the methods of producing these products. Despite
these gloom revelations, what is important to point out that we, the public,
have the capability to put an end to all these. Instead of blindly accepting
what the food conglomerate hands us, we must learn how to question and demand
for something better. The consumer must also understand the power of their
voice and how this voice can push the companies to change and improve their