Essay PreviewMore ↓
Dead Man Walking, a story by Sister Helen Prejean, is a superb book, presenting most of the aspects regarding capital punishment. According to my opinion the unique thing about this book, is its ability to make people reflect upon and even question their earlier thoughts concerning the death penalty. Many different points of view are presents, but the book doesn’t pick sides. Dead Man Walking manages to remain objective even when we approach the painful end.
The book is based on Sister Helen Prejean’s experiences with inmates on death row. Sister Helen receives a letter from prisoner Matthew Poncelet. Due to a horrible murder to which he claims only to have been an observer, he is now on death row, waiting for his execution. He requests her to come visiting him. In the next few days we follow Sister Helens conversations with Matthew, his family and the families of the two teenagers brutally raped and killed. In spite of the fact that Helen meets a lot of anger and sorrow for her being so involved with Matthew she keeps on fighting for his life. But the appeal gets rejected and the execution gets closer
There is one statement in the book that I think summarizes the theme. A lawyer observes: “it is easy to kill a monster, but hard killing a human being.”
I think that one of the reasons Sister Helen Prejean wrote this book is to bring more knowledge about the complex death penalty to the public. While the rest of the Western world has abolished this, in my opinion, old-fashioned punishment has become an asset to US politicians in order to gain trust from the American voters.
Sister Helen Prejean and the condemned Poncelet are defiantly the main characters of this book. Even though few people can identify themselves with Poncelet, his grief and despair occurs before and during the injection and reminds us that less than few are totally in lack of emotions. Sister Helen is a Nun who spends much of her time doing charity in her poor neighborhood. She is having a hard time not letting her to Poncelet’s actions dominate her spiritual relationship, but manages to remember the Christian message: “Every man is worth more than his worst actions.
How to Cite this Page
"Dead Man Walking Book Review." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Dec 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is set during World War II. There are four children who had to be sent to live with Professor Kirke because their mother wanted them to be safe. The children decide to play hide and seek in the house one day and the youngest girl Lucy found a wardrobe to hide in. When Lucy was in the wardrobe she found herself in a strange place. The wardrobe had led her to a land full of snow. When Lucy started walking around she met a fawn named Tumnus. He took her to his house.... [tags: Book Review]
1242 words (3.5 pages)
- The Walking Dead is a television show produced by AMC based off the black and white comic books by Robert Kirkman. The show and comic book center around main character Rick Grimes as he learns to cope with life after waking up from a deadly wound into an outbreak of virus wielding undead creatures known as “walkers.” Over the course of season two and season three, the show starts to center around how Rick is able to command the group of survivors and the challenges they face trying to settle down in a safe area.... [tags: token minority, magical negro, racism]
2046 words (5.8 pages)
- Cormac McCarthy's novel, The Road, is the story of the journey taken by an unnamed father and his son in order to find a safe haven in a world destroyed by an unspecified catastrophe. This devastation has managed to wipe out just about every living thing on the planet. Although the novel does not clearly state what the cause of this cataclysm was, evidence suggests that they are living in what is the outcome of a nuclear war. The land is filled with ash and is uninhabited by animals and most plant life.... [tags: Book Review, Apocalyptic World]
965 words (2.8 pages)
- Brent Staples was one of nine African American children born into the Staples family in Chester, Pennsylvania. He and his family were witnesses to Chester becoming victim to the slums after the city closed some of it’s major industries. As a former reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, he worked his way up a few positions to the assistant metropolitan editor of The New York Times Book Review. In 1994, he published his memoir, Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White. One of his most moving pieces is his essay on the stereotypical views of the average African American Male entitled, “Black Men and Public Space.” It was first published in Harper’s Magazine in 1986.... [tags: Black people, African American, Race]
739 words (2.1 pages)
- Dean Koontz FRANENSTIEN/LOST SOULS is a fiction novel. It is published in the United States by Bantam Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Copyrighted 2010 by Dean Koontz. 350 pages. Dean Koontz always gives his readers a great product, no matter what book you read, you will be entertained and the same is true about the book I read named FRANKENSTIEN/lost souls. This book is the fourth book in a five book series. The entire series is FRAKENSTIEN/Prodigal Son, FRANKENSTIEN/City of Night, FRANKENSTIEN/Dead and Alive, FRANKENSTIEN/Lost Souls, and FRANKENSTIEN/Prodigal Son.... [tags: fourth novel series, book review]
927 words (2.6 pages)
- Critical Review of the Andromeda Strain Imagine walking into a town that normally populates 48 vivacious residents, and discovering 46 non-moving non-living bodies. There are no guns, no bombs, and no visible pre-manufactured weapons of any sort. A few minutes later death strikes, observations can no longer be made, and a black curtain falls. This is what happened to two Army recovery personnel in the town of Piedmont, Arizona (population 48). They set off to retrieve SCOOP VII, a military satellite sent to bring back alien microorganisms.... [tags: Novels War Violence Essays]
688 words (2 pages)
- Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan The name of my book is Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan. This is a mystery thriller about five teens who plan to kidnap their English teacher to teach him a lesson. Their teacher is very hard on them and does not allow any room for slacking. But instead of just kidnapping him for a while, they decide to abandon him for a while by a deserted lake in the middle of nowhere. Two of the teens come back to find that he is dead. Now they must decide what to do with the body and how to explain his death.... [tags: Book Review Analysis]
1995 words (5.7 pages)
- Dead Man Walking The motion picture Dead Man Walking provided a non-fiction insight into the world of crime, justice, and capital punishment. The film cast several characters from different backgrounds and opinion sets in direct conflict with one another. Several small topics and one major topic, capital punishment, were explored over the duration of the movie. While the opinions and reactions of people to Dead Man Walking may vary, the one constant is that people will have a reaction.... [tags: Dead Man Walking]
1476 words (4.2 pages)
- Joseph Heller's Catch 22 Catch 22 is a satirical novel written by Joseph Heller. It is a story about American army pilots on an island near Italy in the end of World War II in 1944. Catch 22 is a story about how the main character John Yossarian wants to get out of the army and how he tries to act insane so he can be declared unfit to fly any more missions. It is a satirical antiwar novel. It was considered very unusual and was critisised by reviewers when it was first published in 1961. It contains “black humour” because it makes fun out of the horror of war and shows how stupid some of the rules of the army are.... [tags: Heller Book Review]
1078 words (3.1 pages)
- Sister Helen asks Phelps his opinions on some questions that have been bothering her. "Aren't there, I argue, some rights fundamental to human beings-- such as the right not to be tortured or killed-- that everyone, including governments, must respect. Doesn't the moral foundation of a society erode if its government is allowed to treat these fundamental, nonnegotiable rights as some sort of privilege, which they take on themselves to dispense for good behavior or withdraw for bad behavior?" [p.... [tags: Film Movie]
1463 words (4.2 pages)
After reading this I have a different view of the death penalty, this book was very touching and moved me. I think that it was well written too. I felt the powerful yet painful message. I think it also showed the power of religious vocation, and moral clarity. I think Dead Man Walking was a profound argument against capital punishment.