Analysis Of The Book ' Mystic River ' By Denis Lehane
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At the heart of every great story, there is a great storyteller. Denis Lehane is one of these great storytellers. In this 2001 novel Mystic River, he recounts the story of three young boys after a horrific event (). The consequences of that terrible incident change the lives of the three characters Jimmy, Dave and Sean forever. Many of the characters in the novel fall into a cycle of dumb violence and revenge. Take Jimmy as an example. First, he kills a character by the name of Just Ray and then he kills his childhood friend Dave for reasons he believed were just. Dave himself kills a pedophile, because he thought it was the right thing to do. In Mystic River, Lehane demonstrates through the actions of the characters that revenge, often claimed to be noble or just, is selfish and doesn’t solve anything; rather it leads to a cycle of violence.
Lehane shows the dangerous and violent nature of revenge through Just Rays’ murder. Just Ray and Jimmy started out as friends, but Ray “ratted” Jimmy out (Lehane 360). While in jail, Jimmy missed the last months of his wife’s life. After leaving jail, Jimmy swore to take his revenge on Just Ray. Jimmy liked Ray and before taking his life he said: “I was crying too hard. That’s how pathetic it was. [Ray] was blubbering, I was blubbering” (361). We can clearly see that Jimmy didn’t want to kill Ray. Jimmy knew what he was doing was wrong, but he justified his action by saying that he had to kill him on “Principle” (Lehane 361). Lehane is trying to show that revenge is often hidden under the guise of justice. Lehane is saying that in reality, there is no justice in revenge. The murder of Just Ray also led to a cycle of violence. Ray’s kids grow up with lots of resentment and they develop behavi...
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...instead of being for the good of the kid. Lehane demonstrates once again that revenge is a selfish act. It can also be said that, revenge exacerbated Dave’s situation. Dave’s own actions that night led to a massive misunderstanding with his wife and Jimmy that lead to his own death. Lehane is trying to show that revenge and violence only propagates more revenge and violence. To sum up, Leanne uses the Dave to demonstrates that revenge solves nothing.
In conclusion, Lehane demonstrates through the actions of Jimmy and Dave that revenge is a futile endeavour that solves nothing. Jimmy attempts to justify the murders of Just Ray and Dave by convincing himself that his actions were necessary. Dave himself murders a pedophile for reasons he thought were moral. In his novel Mystic River, Lehane demonstrates that just revenge is a selfish act that often leads to violence.