Domestic Violence in "The Murder"

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In today's society domestic violence has been an ongoing tragedy in many households across the world. According to Callie Rennison, an expert in criminology and criminal justice, twenty percent of domestic violence committed against woman is by their intimate partner or husband. This statistic is compared to the three percent experienced by men. The story "The Murder" by John Steinbeck depicts the problem of violence and wife beating in a marriage and relationship. The author confronts the reader with the issue by portraying how women are treated like animals or objects. Throughout the story the reader experiences Jim Moore's brutality and disrespect towards his foreign wife Jelka Sepic. Even the narrator takes part in describing Jelka as an animal and paints a pejorative portrait of women in general. The persistent use of animal imagery throughout the story culminates when Jelka is finally viciously beaten by her husband. The purpose of John Steinbeck's story is to make readers aware of the suffering women endure in marriage relationships. Throughout the story Jim Moore degrades his wife Jelka by treating her like an object or possession. She is continuously seen as an animal by the way she is described and treated by her husband. Early in the story we find out that Jim has been going to a local establishment known as the Three Star to meet with other women. When the girls at the Three Star ask Jim where his wife is, he replies, “Home in the barn” (Steinbeck 5). This response is an explanation of the way in which Jim views his wife. A barn is defined as a home or living space for animals and livestock. By implying that his wife is “home in the barn,” he refers to her as an animal. This quote makes the reader assume that Jim has control over Jelka as if she were his property. Even the fact that Jim is cheating on his wife shows his disrespect towards Jelka. Later
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