Essay on Broken Lives

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Broken Lives written by Estelle Blackburn is an expository text, which through research has presented that nineteen year old John Button was wrongfully convicted of killing his seventeen year old girlfriend Rosemary Anderson in a hit and run. I believe through my reading of Broken Lives that the key factor of expository texts is to explore awkward questions deeply and critically. In this case who was guilty of killing Rosemary Anderson in a hit and run, John Button or Eric Edgar Cooke, and the effect of Cooke’s crimes and murders had on people.

John Button was a loving, caring, active and an innocent man. John’s relationship with girlfriend Rosemary Anderson was strong. They planed to get married and Rosemary’s family accepted John for
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Eric Cooke was traumatized by the abuse and rejection of his alcoholic father as a child. “Domestic violence was a way of life in the Cooke home. Eric was left alone and neglected because his father’s loathing and abuse”. Eric was born with deformities and considered himself as a freak, this being one of the reasons behind his hatred to everyone. Through the graphic detail of his nightly prowls and murders we not only dislike Cooke but also blame him for the murder of Rosemary Anderson. “He raised the hatchet and brought it down with all his strength… He raised the hatchet again and chopped into Brewer ferociously, twelve to thirteen times”. Cooke confessed to killing Rosemary on the day of his execution, saying John Button was innocent. From Eric Cooke’s childhood of abuse and neglect, his deformities and his nightly prowls and murders presented in Broken Lives. Blackburn has explored Cooke deeply and critically and presents him as being guilty of killing Rosemary Anderson.

Cooke’s disgusting and disturbing crimes affected many people in the small town of Perth in the nineteen fifties. The books title ‘Broken Lives’ symbolizes the live which were lost or broken through Cooke’s acts of evil. I believe that the most broken life presented in the text was that of John Button’s. John Button and Rosemary’s family had to deal with
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