Reaction Paper

730 Words Jun 5th, 2011 3 Pages
Reaction Paper

Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Hanging of the Mouse”, places animals in the roles of humans in reference to an execution. The writer uses animals to replace humans to possibly convey a message or point of view towards the death penalty. In the story, the mouse is being executed for what we believe is some sort of crime. It isn’t clear whether or not the mouse actually committed a crime, but we are led to believe that an act occurred in which caused the mouse to be executed on this particular day. The writer doesn’t convey their opinion on capital punishment or the death penalty. As the story plays out, all the writer is doing is telling a story of a mouse and incorporating all these different animals. Every animal
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Young adults and adults would find the story an interesting read. Each, again, may grasp a different meaning or have a different feeling towards the story, only because of the different backgrounds may be involved. “The Hanging of the Mouse” brought to light a few questions on my feelings on capital punishment and the death penalty. Questions like “Do I believe in capital punishment?”, “Do I believe in the death penalty?” and “Can I withstand to watch someone die in front of my eyes?” crossed my mind as a read through the story. The death penalty should be carried out depending on the crime committed, and I don’t believe that I am one to watch the punishment to be carried out. I would be that cat feeling remorse and sadness for what was happening in front of me. The last line in the story, “but an excellent moral lesson, nevertheless.” (Barnet, Cain, & Burto, 2010, p. 1310) sticks out the most from the entire story. Having the belief that the death penalty should be carried out, but not being able to watch such an event…should children and teens be subject to such things? For sure this would teach them a lesson on what happens when extremely bad crimes are committed, but is that a lesson that should be taught in that way? Elizabeth Bishop’s very short story brought up more questions than answers. It’s refreshing to read something that may have a clear message, e.g. the agreement of having the death penalty, but it could mean

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