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Thematic Analys in Andre Dubus’ Killings Essay

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Analysis of Killings

The major theme of Andre Dubus’ Killings is how far someone would go for the person they love. It is important to note the title of the story is killings and not killers, for the reasoning that the story does not just focus on two deaths or two murderers but rather the death of marriage, friendship, youth, and overall, trust.
Richard Strout was married to Mary Ann, who was most likely fed up with his hot temperedness that always seemed to get him into fist fights. She separated from her husband and while they were going through the process of divorce she started a new relationship with Frank Fowler, killing all hope of reconciling her marriage with Richard. In return he became enraged not only in losing his
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Both men tend to work late nights; Trottier was a bartender, so Fowler meeting with him after hours was an easy alibi. The hardest part was getting Strout to a secluded place, which they were able to do by conning him at first, saying they had bought him a plane ticket and wanted him out of their lives so that everyone could move on. After leaving Strout's car at an apartment building in Boston, they lead Strout to a pre-dug hole in a wooded area where Fowler kills him. “The gun kicked in Matt’s hand, and the explosion of the shot surrounded him…Richard Strout, squirming on his belly pushed himself towards the woods. Then Matt went to him and shot him once in the back of the head (106).”

In this story, Dubus invites the reader to mull over the disparity between people’s ethical responsibility to society and the primal urge to protect and avenge their loved ones. At the end of the story, Matt tells Ruth what happened, but it is clear that he feels deep remorse for the action he has taken. He, his wife and friend Trottier will be forever scarred by the responsibility of keeping the secret of murder. Nevertheless, Dubus does not judge Matt and label him either a hero or a sinner; he simply presents the ethical problem to the reader.
The story begins while Matt Fowler is at his youngest son, Frank’s, funeral where the author uses the literary element of third person limited omniscient
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