Protagonist Antagonist Short Story Called "Killings" Andre Essay

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protagonist antagonist short story called "Killings" Andre Dubus

It is difficult to defend the position that the protagonist and antagonist of Adre Dubus' short story "Killings," Matt and Strout, are alike in any sort of way. Virtually the only similarity they have is their mutual admiration and appreciation for the way that Strout's ex-wife, Mary Ann, looks. Nonetheless, both of these men are fathers and they are both murderers. Still, a prolonged analysis of Dubus' tale reveals the fact that there are significantly greater differences between these two than there are similarities.

One of the more pronounced differences between the two is the way that they go about carrying out their respective murders. Strout is much more reckless in doing so. He kills Matt's son Frank in broad daylight, in front of a plethora of witnesses (including his children and his ex-wife), almost as though he has no disdain for the law or its consequences. Whatever planning there was on his part is minimal. Matt, however, intricately plans Strout's murder.
He and his accomplice Willis spent a lengthy amount of time going over the details, some of which include the fact that, "they had planned that too, had decided it was best for just the one car to go to" Strauss's house even though they took separate cars. This passage indicates that no detail was too small for Matt to plan. Strauss, however, did minimal planning.

Another very fundamental difference between these two men which is evinced in their killings is that they are both taken by passion. To commit the sort of killing that Strauss did, one must feel extremely strong emotions -- extreme hate, antipathy, and a base wrongness about the other person to kill in such a way that they are heedless of the consequences. In this respect, Strauss is effectively governed by his passions. Frank, however, is able to master his passions and kill in a discriminate way so that he does not have to forfeit….....

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