Inferior Morality vs. Superior Morality Andre Dubus’s “Killings”

Topics: Morality, Guilt, Ethics Pages: 3 (799 words) Published: March 30, 2014
Inferior Morality vs. Superior Morality
Andre Dubus’s “Killings”
Murder, a rightfully known act of immorality is proven to be justifiable in Andre Dubus’s “Killings”. The alluring temptations of vengeance, too strong for Matt Fowler to push aside, were eventually accepted. Fowler commits the exact same crime as his son’s killer, both murders seek out revenge, however for different reasons. Fowler kills for the sake of his wife, he grieves seeing her in agony and he himself is in anguish knowing his son’s killer is free. Richard Strout acted out upon jealousy and anger, which ultimately ended in his demise, a suffering much worse than living with guilt. The distinction in these two killers morality is what determines the difference in their suffering.

Matt Fowler, a compassionate father and husband is tortured with his indecision to alleviate his and his family’s pain with his reoccurring plan of murdering Richard Strout. His empathy towards his wife is obvious as he talks to his companion Willis, “She sees him all the time. It makes her cry.” (Dubus 111) His sympathy being expressed about his wife emotional trauma characterizes his nobleness. His desire for revenge isn’t solely his.

Another identifier of Fowler’s superior morality is his persistent battle with his conscience when executing Strout’s murder. He limited eye contact and conversation, only being stern when needing to be, and even with an act of aggression it still was evident of his apprehension, “He pointed the cocked revolver at Stout’s face. The barrel trembled but not much, not as much as expected.” (Dubus 119) As the night continued his guilt progressed, his body language was now not even able to mask his shame, “Matt’s body sagged, going limp with his spirit and its new and false bound with Strout, the hope his lie had given Strout.” (Dubus 120) The evidence of Fowler’s remorse for lying to his son’s killer shows how sorry he is already feeling about his premeditated plan for murder....

Cited: Dubus, Andre. “Killings” The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed.
Michael Meyer. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. 110-122. Print
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