True Monsters in Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tim Franklin Essay

True Monsters in Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tim Franklin Essay

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Rick Riordan, in his novel “The Lightning Thief”, states that “The real world is where the monsters are.” Monsters don’t need to be extraterrestrial; monsters can be found anywhere and everywhere. A person can be monsterized due to misunderstanding, social isolation, or the extreme desire to be popular. In “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter”, Tom Franklin unmasks the real monsters in Chabot, Mississippi. It isn’t Larry Ott but rather Carl, Cecil, Silas, and Wallace who are the real monsters in the novel.
The story of deception begins at Larry’s house itself. Larry’s father, Carl, is neither a good husband nor a good father. He had an affair with their maid and a baby from her. The discovery of a picture of a “black woman with baby Larry in her lap at the bottom of an old shoe box in Larry’s house” (Franklin 100) reveals the mystery of that maid being associated with Carl and Larry being Silas’ half brother. The fact that Larry used to be “whipped with a belt” (Franklin 51) demonstrates his ugliness towards his son. Besides, he is also responsible for Silas to be deprived of love from his father.
Likewise, the other monster in the novel would be Cecil Walker. He was more of a monster than a stepdad to Cindy, for he used to be brutal and violent towards her. Once, at a New Year’s party, he throws a rocket bottle towards her which explodes against her back. In addition, he would not miss any chance to abuse her sexually, when alone or in presence of somebody else, such as attempting to pull her towel when she came out of shower.
“He does that kind of shit all the time”, she’d said. “Trying to see me without my clothes, come stumbling in the bathroom with his thing in his hand. Does when he’s drunk, acts like he don’t remember when he...

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...rror books and guns and possession of a monster mask. After his date with Cindy, Larry, a common boy, from a low-middle class white family, is not common anymore; he is infamous as “Scary Larry” in the town and is always the first one to be suspected in case of any crime.
Concluding, what we see is not always the truth. It takes a lot of effort to recognize the ‘real’ monster that is masked behind an innocent face. A criminal mind does not differentiate between the right and wrong; it does not respect any relation- blood or friendship. A whisper of suspicion screams more loudly than any words of praise in one’s life. In the novel, the blind society that has monsterized innocent Larry has also let the true monsters live fearlessly and with dignity in the same town.

Franklin, Tom. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. New York: William Morrow, 2010. Print.

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