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Matt’s motivation for murder in “Killings” is revenge for his son, Frank, who is cold-bloodedly murdered in front of his girlfriend, Mary Ann Strout, and her two kids. The killer is his girlfriend’s ex-husband, Richard. On the contrary, the motivation for Emily in…
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May 30, Compare and contrast Matt’s motivation for murder Killings and Emilys A Rose for Emily Matt’s motivation for murder in “Killings” is revenge for his son, Frank, who is cold-bloodedly murdered in front of his girlfriend, Mary Ann Strout, and her two kids. The killer is his girlfriend’s ex-husband, Richard. On the contrary, the motivation for Emily in killing Homer in “A Rose for Emily” is to make sure that she will not be alone and unloved again. Matt kills Richard because he wants to avenge his son’s death. Frank is young, only twenty-one years old, and finishing college. He has a bright future ahead of him. Richard, however, takes his son away because of jealousy. As Matt orders Richard around with a gun pointed at him, Richard reveals to him that he wanted to get back with his wife, but Frank was “always with her” (Dubus). In order to get back with Mary, Richard thinks that he must completely remove the hindrance to their marriage, who is Frank. At the same time, Matt tells Willis that his wife, Ruth, is always crying because she keeps on seeing him around. Matt also thinks that though Richard might be jailed for twenty years, he will be young enough to continue his life after prison life, unlike his son, Frank, who is already dead. Matt justifies that killing Richard will give peace to him and his wife.
Emily, on the opposite, does not kill for revenge, but to avoid the misery of loneliness. She does not want to be alone again, so she poisoned Homer when she believes that he is about to leave her, instead of marrying her. Emily has lived a long, lonely life because of her domineering father who drove all her suitors away and Homer might be her only companion in life. Emily also lacks friends because people think that the Griersons are full of pride because of their social class. Without Homer, she will be lonelier since she already experienced what it means to be loved and to love, so she kills him so he can be with her forever.
Despite this difference, Matt and Emily are also selfish in their motivations. Matt wants to kill Richard even when he feels guilty over it. He knows that it is wrong to take another man’s life, but he wants to do it to erase his guilt for not taking care of his kids well as he used to when they were younger. Emily is also selfish because she wants to control Homer for eternity. Hence, there is a difference in the exact motive for their killings, but Emily and Matt both did it for selfish reasons too.
Which character made you feel more empathy and sympathy for his or her actions? Why?
I feel more empathy for Matt than Emily because I cannot imagine losing my own child at such a young age. Frank is at the prime of his life. He has found a girl to love and he enjoys his work and school. He is living his life, but someone selfishly took it away from him. I can empathize with Matt too because he is a “fearful father,” and I will also be that kind of parent- pretending to be cool outside to improve the confidence of my kids, but nervous deep inside because of the fear of my kids getting wounded or dying. If someone killed my child, I would find it hard to not avenge him/her, although I will do my best to not commit murder like Matt. In addition, I feel more sympathy for Matt because it must be hard to lose a child through a brutal murder after taking care of them so well during their childhood and teenage years. It is like losing something that I have held with tender care so drastically and violently.
As for Emily, I understand that she lived an oppressed life because her father is domineering. It must also be lonely to not have friends because of the social stigma against the “high and mighty Griersons” (Faulkner). I can sympathize for her situation in life as a loner. However, I will not kill my loved one just to prevent her from leaving me. Thus, I have more empathy and sympathy for Matt because I can identify with his personality and motives.
Works Cited
Dubus, Andre. “Killings.”
Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Read More
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