When The Killings Done Analysis

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Edgar Espana Kara Lybarger-Monson English MO1B February 29, 2012 Questioning Ones Power In T.C. Boyle’s novel When the Killings Done, Dave LaJoy the so-called animal lover and animal rights activist, who by the way hates humans, faces-off with Alma Boyd Takesue, the real animal lover that is trying to restore “Eden” to the way it was before being infested by rats and feral pigs. Both Alma and Dave are interested in animal rights but have different ways in doing so, Alma even though she’d rather not kill anything has to eliminate animals from Eden because she is dedicated to preserving the species unique to Eden’s environment and Dave, on the other hand, is on a determined mission to “save animals” even though the way he goes…show more content…
She will do what has to be done in order to preserve the endangered species that are unique to the Channel Islands. But through all that dedication Alma has a lot of self-doubt because she has so much power over these animals but even with all that power she doesn’t know what to do with it. We see her dedication when Alicia, Alma’s assistant questions her ways, “I don’t know why we have to kill everything” Alma loses hope that she hasn’t explained herself, “But that’s exactly wrong, don’t you see? Because we’re the ones who put the animals there, the sheep and cattle and pigs on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, the rats on Anacapa and cats and rabbits on Santa Barbara, and it’s our obligation, our duty [to return these places to their original state by killing off the interlopers]”(103-104). But even with all the power she holds she still questions her motives and that is very ironic. The biggest moment is the story were we see her question her power is when she saw the downed boar up close and in flesh “This wild thing, this perfect creature” she thinks “She feels sorrow in the back of her throat, the sorrow of existence”(304). Through this moment of clarity we see this woman that was chasing down some of those pigs with Frazier, the one killing off all these rats, feral pigs change and start having more compassion for these animals. She really doesn’t want to be killing these animals…show more content…
Boyle’s novel When the Killings Done pays attention to these difficulties, which is what makes the novel such a compelling story. He tells us how both are fighting for animal rights but do so in different ways and that is what leads us through both of their internal conflicts. One of them, (Alma), has all the power in the world but doesn’t really want it and the other one, (Dave), lacks the power the other one has so he starts to question his motives. This all makes for a great irony story which is a must read for

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