Violence as Analized in Cullen’s Columbine and Backderf’s My Friend Dahmer

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Everything from news reports to daily newspapers these days seem to be about violence, how violent and dangerous this world has become, or is soon to be. Mass media has created a society known for the sensationalism of crime and violence. As viewers watch the news report, we began to develop questions and seek answers, but should we look for answers in media? Are these news sources really reliable? Because media often sensationalizes each opinion to gain more viewers, its probably not save to depend on news sources. In Cullen’s excerpt Columbine, many of these problems are addressed.

Minutes after the Columbine shooting, news reporters and cameras were surrounding the school. According to Cullen excerpt, the stories reported were very inaccurate. Example being the widely false reported story of Cassie Bernall and Trench Coat Mafia. The myths surrounding Columbine were over exaggerated. The purpose of Cullen excerpt is to view the Columbine shooting from a clearer viewpoint of the experience itself and the perpetrators, compare to that of media. Towards the end of the excerpt, Cullen looks for the motives of Calvin and Eric. He points out Eric’s very sociopath like characteristic, which includes having a lack of empathy for others. He also touches on the cultural environment of a sociopath. This helps readers make sense of what motivated the perpetrators. An excerpt like Cullen’s provides us with a better understanding compare to that we see on media. It allows us to take a step back and see the bigger picture from a different perspective. Several metanarratives also emerge within this excerpt and provide us with a notion of what’s going on beyond the story. It helps readers make sense of whats going on and allows us to make emoti...

... middle of paper ... story! The chance of having a classmate who ends up being a well-known serial killer is not likely to happen to everyone. The author saw the opportunity and took advantage of that. The novel was definitely a good read! The illustrations were so exquisite that they can almost tell the story without words. But of course we as readers want to know more in details. Backderf challenges the metanarrative notion and provides us with a story beyond Dahmer being just a typical crazy serial killer. It allows us to make our own interruptions. Backderf shows the more “human” side of Dahmer, from his living situation, family problems to his bullying experience. Cullen’s Columbine and Backderf’s My Friend Dahmer show us that these violent situations can and do happen in this society. It’s better that we are aware of it than not, that way we can prevent it from happening again.

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