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The theme of the story The Curse by Andre Dubus - Essay Example

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Andre Dubus through his story ‘The Curse’ insists his readers to contemplate the ethical question what would they do if they happen to witness a crime. The title of the story ‘the curse’ is very relevant to the context as it portrays the deep feelings of the protagonist…
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The theme of the story The Curse by Andre Dubus
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"The theme of the story The Curse by Andre Dubus"

Download file to see previous pages Mitchell Hayes is a forty-nine year old bartender who unexpectedly confronts an unfortunate event one evening right before closing. He is the stepfather of a teenage boy and girl. Five men arrive on motorcycles and order beers. Mitchell believes that they used drugs. Now one young woman comes to the bar to buy cigarettes and asks Mitchell for change. All of a sudden the bikers attack the woman and rape her brutally on the floor. Mitchell takes no action until the brutes leave the scene. He now approaches the woman and tries to comfort her. He now calls the police and his manager Bob. Mitchell is familiar with the police officer Smitty, for they were classmates in high school. Mitchell confesses that he could have done something to stop the crime. However, Smitty says that if he had intervened, he too would have been attacked by the thugs. Mitchell arrives home with a guilty mind. He tells his wife Susan what happened at the bar, and shares his thoughts with her. Susan also tells him that he has acted wisely by not responding to the criminals all by himself. However, their words do not pacify his soul as he believes that his nonresponsive was a sin.
Mitchell is affected by guilty conscience despite his friend’s suggestion that intervention was the duty of police. He is “fatigue beyond relieving by rest, by sleep” after the incident (Dubus). The writer throws light on the rotten cultural facet of the US society and invites his readers to ponder the ethical parameters they have set. Mitchell represents the common man having tender feelings and compassion to his fellow creatures, but who at the same time is constrained by external pressures. The rapists symbolize male chauvinism and discrimination that are prevalent in every sphere of social life in the United States.
Realism is the main feature of Dubus’ story. He deploys third person narration for the major part of the story with intent to give more ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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