This examination will look at the short story “Killings” by Andre Dubus and the main characters in the story. The story begins on a warm August day with the burial of Matt and Ruth Fowler’s youngest son Frank. Frank’s age: “twenty-one years, eight months, and four days” (Dubus 107). Attending the funeral were Matt, his wife Ruth, their adult children and spouses. Matt’s family is extremely distraught over the murder of their youngest son/brother, in their own way. There are implications of wanting to kill Richard Strout, the guy accused of being the murderer: “I should kill him” (107), as stated after the service. This comment is considered a fore-shadowing of what is to come in the thought progression of Matt and Ruth.
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The killer and Mary Ann’s troubled marriage symbolizes the destructive encounters about to arise. Ruth can sense and feel that her youngest son is in jeopardy, but is powerless in persuading him any differently of his feelings and thoughts for Mary Ann. I consider Ruth a flat character in this story, her mood and emotions never change or waiver. She has become a recluse in her own world of self disdain and torment over her son’s death. Because of her torment, she creates a secretive thought process within her husband Matt.
Matt Fowler, the protagonist (hero) to his family, is a devoted, loving father and husband. I consider Matt to be a round character as he transforms from a loving, protective family man, to a man planning and carrying out revenge. Matt has raised his children to be respectful and insightful toward others. He has watched them grow into nurturing adults to lead their own lives and families. Matt is concerned about his youngest son Frank and the relationship he has with Mary Ann: It seems like a lot for a young guy to take on, Matt finally said. Sometimes it is. But she is worth it. Are you thinking about getting married? We haven’t talked about it. She can’t for over a year. I’ve got school (111).
Matt remembered his children as they grew and fondly recollects their situations, always being protective of