Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vigilante Justice

Ashley Adams
Blog Option #3

Coming from a small town myself, I immediately connected with the short story “The Reach” by Stephen King. Where I’m from everyone knows everybody and they all do what they can to help each other out and keep each other safe. That being said, going to the extremes like the people in “The Reach” is not something my town has personally done. I have however, heard about it. People taking justice into their own hands is all over the news. When reading "The Reach" by Stephen King, I couldn't help but notice the similarities in the residents of the island and people today.
On August 15, 2013 a news article was posted on about a man in Detroit that was beaten up after his neighbors say that he raped a 15 year old with Down Syndrome. The neighbors “decided they weren't going to wait for police and prosecutors to act” and chased the man and beat him with baseball bats. They felt the police were taking too much time to convict the suspect, so they took justice into their own hands. This news story is just like the scene in “The Reach” when Stella is recounting the incident when “the town watched out for their own” (389). She remembers a man molested 3 girls from the island and the next day the accused was found dead. The townspeople say he just so happened to slip, fall, and break his neck (390). We can all assume that this was no accident.
Unlike the neighbors in "The Reach" however, some of the neighbors in Detroit did not agree with this vigilante action. "They are every bit as guilty as they believe he is" someone commented to the reporters. According to Stella, no one on the island followed this mentality. Things there just happened, and they let them. It was all a part of the islanders taking care of their own, no matter what.
Every day, people get away with doing terrible things. Sometimes, it catches up with them, and sometimes it doesn’t. Does this mean we should take matters into our own hands? Or should we trust that whatever happens, it happens for a reason? Who is the victim? Who is the guilty one here?

King, Stephen. "The Reach.” American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: The Penguin Group. 378-397. Print.

No comments:

Post a Comment