Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
4Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Following the Path to the Red Roses: Murder as a Failed Attempt at Integration with Society

Following the Path to the Red Roses: Murder as a Failed Attempt at Integration with Society

Ratings:

4.75

(1)
|Views: 2,795|Likes:
Published by Fanny Sylvia C.
How can we conjecture about murder when we cannot even determine what happens when one person murders another? There are no witnesses, no concrete facts, no insight into the criminal mentality except what the murderers themselves offer. However, how can we know that they are reliable sources? If they are indeed madmen who murder, then can we really trust madmen to tell us about madmen? Isn’t this circular and self-defeating?
How can we conjecture about murder when we cannot even determine what happens when one person murders another? There are no witnesses, no concrete facts, no insight into the criminal mentality except what the murderers themselves offer. However, how can we know that they are reliable sources? If they are indeed madmen who murder, then can we really trust madmen to tell us about madmen? Isn’t this circular and self-defeating?

More info:

Published by: Fanny Sylvia C. on Jun 25, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

01/01/2013

pdf

text

original

 
October 17, 2005Following the Path to the Red Roses:Murder as a Failed Attempt at Integration with SocietyIn the late 1980’s, Ted Bundy, a serial killer awaiting death on Florida’s Death Row, gavean extraordinary set of interviews revealing in the third person how and why he committed themurders. On the murder of Roberta Parks, who he transported several hundred miles beforemurdering and deposing of her, he speculates that he transported her due to indecision and aconflict “between that part of him that thought it was necessary to kill his victims, versus the partthat did not—that found it to be extremely reprehensible, disgusting” (Michaud, 102-103).Bundy illuminates his double-consciousness, perhaps even strong enough in his case to be calledmultiple personas. On one hand, he was acutely aware of and desired to fulfill societal norms.Yet on the other hand, he felt a compulsion to act out against the bounds of these norms and tokill his victims. Understanding why criminals deviate from established social norms constitutesa central concern to police detectives, but a fascination with the phenomena of murder pervadesthe general public too. What gives rise to this compulsion to kill? Bundy speculates that “It wasthe
 possession
of this desired thing, which was, in itself, -- the very act of assuming possessionwas a very antisocial act – was giving expression to this person’s need to seize something thatwas … highly valued, at least on the surface, by society.” (Michaud, 200-201). It seems then thatfor Bundy, murder is not the act in and of itself, but rather a means of satisfying an internalcraving, a strong desire to become a part of mainstream society by forcefully taking possessionof something or someone who belonged to society.Murder ballads also attempt to formulate an understanding of the phenomena of murder.The persistence of murder ballads as an art form points to an enduring demand in society tocomprehend such antisocial acts. However, even the setting and premises of ballads themselves1
 
 point to the speculation involved in simulating these “fantasymurders. Murders occur  primarily away from the public eye, and leave no witnesses except the murderer himself, whomay not be considered a reliable source. Songwriters, then, attempt the impossible, to analyzeand comprehend the criminal psyche with extremely limited concrete information. By analyzingmurder ballads, we in effect look at murder as seen through society’s lens. What we can gleanfrom murder ballads is not a definitive answer on why murderers commit the atrocities they do, but rather what society believes motivates their actions.“Banks of the Ohio,” born as a part of the oral tradition and recorded in 1938 by theMonroe Brothers, follows the murder ballad “formula” that characterizes many of the older murder ballads. The narrator asks his “love” to take a walk with him, hinting at a possiblemarriage or proposal hovering in the air, yet by the third stanza, he murders her. In fact, the textcontains many other disturbing inconsistencies. The narrator asks to talk “about our weddingday” (Monroe Brothers, ln 4) before his love has assented to be his bride. His diction implies,furthermore, that she has already denied him the pleasure, or may very likely do so: “Only saythat you’ll be mine” (Monroe Brothers, ln 5). The narrator also awkwardly refers to himself in both the first and third person. When he speaks of his love for his lady, he addresses himself as“I”, but when referring to the man who committed the crime, he uses the pronoun “he”:
“I was coming home ‘tween twelve and onethinking of what he had donehe’d murdered the only girl I loved because she would not marry me.” (Monroe Brothers, lns 13-16)
The songwriter may have chosen to use both pronouns to highlight the conflicting desires, or even alternate personalities such as those described by Bundy. The “I” respects social norms,and tries to disassociate himself with the “he,” the monster who murdered his true love. In this2
 
way, the murderer insinuates that he is not to blame; in fact, he is twice the victim: he loses histrue love and also must take the legal consequences for her murder. Rather, he pushes the blameon her, claiming that she was murdered because “she would not marry [him]” (Monroe Brothers,ln 20).By attributing his actions to his passionate love and her rejection of him, and notreminding the audience of what “he had done” (Monroe Brothers, ln 14), the narrator-murderer also builds sympathy for his case. He asks sympathy because his crime, though in a sensewillful, was governed by a disease of his mind, by factors outside of his control. He “wascoming home ‘tween twelve and one” (Monroe Brothers, ln 13), meaning that he has committedthe action in the past, and now stands at the bridge between the old day and the new. He is“thinking of what he had done,” (Monroe Brothers, ln 14) so he feels something about hisactions. He goes on to define the feeling as remorse, both at loss, but also rejection. He feels noguilt. “He” murdered the only girl that “I” loved. “He” is the criminal. He asks that theaudience not condemn the Jekyll as well as the Hyde.The Monroe Brothers use the first person narration to allow us to enter the mind of themurderer and see the criminal act from his viewpoint. Why did their murderer kill his “loved”one? In his own words, he desires the woman he kills intensely: “only say that you’ll be mine”(Monroe Brothers, ln 5, 13, 21, 29). Although this seems on the surface to be a cliché expressingthe highest romantic feelings, it is also a demand for license to possess. He wants her, and hewants to have her in a socially acceptable way. His penchant to belong to society is evident inthe terms in which he seems to court her. He wants to take her for a walk; he want so to marryher; he “loves” her. However, when she rejects him, he literally takes what he can get: “he3

Activity (4)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Sue Kang liked this
wanderin_dreamer liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->