The White Tiger – Murder

‘Here’s a strange fact: murder a man, and you feel responsible for his life – possessive, even. You know more about him than his father and mother; they knew his foetus, but you know his corpse. Only you can complete the story of his life; only you know why his body has to be pushed into the fire beofre its time, and why his toes curl up and fight for another hour on earth.’ -pp.46-47

Reminiscent for me of Clint Eastwood’s excellent portrayal of the reality of violence in Unforgiven:

                               MUNNY
                   Well, that fella today, you shot
                   him alright.

                              THE KID
                          (forced bravado)
                   H-hell yeah.  I killed the hell
                   out of him... three shots... he
                   was takin' a sh-sh-shit an'...
                   an'...

     The Kid is shaking, becoming hysterical, he can't go on, and
     Munny hands the bottle back.

                               MUNNY
                   Take a drink, Kid.

                              THE KID
                      (breaking down, crying)
                   Oh Ch-ch-christ... it don't... it
                   don't seem... real... How he's...
                   DEAD... how he ain't gonna breathe
                   no more... n-n-never.  Or the
                   other one neither... On account
                   of... of just... pullin' a
                   trigger.

     Munny walks back to the edge of the rise and watches the
     rider and it is a lovely sunset happening and he is
     talking to no one in particular.

                               MUNNY
                   It's a hell of a thing, ain't it,
                   killin' a man.  You take
                   everythin' he's got... an'
                   everythin' he's ever gonna have...

                              THE KID
                        (trying to pull him-
                           self together)
                   Well, I gu-guess they had it...
                   comin'.

                               MUNNY
                   We all got it comin', Kid.
Published in: on December 25, 2009 at 1:05 pm  Comments (1)  

Women in Love – The Accident of Murdering One’s Brother

Gerald Crich’s past has quite a peculiar if not tragic event made all the more curious by the thoughts of the other characters.  I’m not sure really what to make of it, but am sure there are some profound thoughts and judgments contained within concerning fate and accident, subconscious desire and accepted behaviour, and specifically the character of Gerald Crich.  [All Comments welcome as always] 

There was such a thing as pure accident, and the consequences did not attach to one, even though one had killed one’s brother in such wise. Gerald as a boy had accidentally killed his brother. What then? Why seek to draw a brand and a curse across the life that had caused the accident? A man can live by accident, and die by accident. Or can he not? Is every man’s life subject to pure accident, is it only the race, the genus, the species, that has a universal reference? Or is this not true, is there no such thing as pure accident? Has EVERYTHING that happens a universal significance? Has it? Birkin, pondering as he stood there, had forgotten Mrs Crich, as she had forgotten him. He did not believe that there was any such thing as accident. It all hung together, in the deepest sense. – p.20

AND LATER THE LADIES GOSSIP:
'You know he shot his brother?' said Ursula.

'Shot his brother?' cried Gudrun, frowning as if in disapprobation.

'Didn't you know? Oh yes!--I thought you knew. He and his brother were
playing together with a gun. He told his brother to look down the gun,
and it was loaded, and blew the top of his head off. Isn't it a
horrible story?'

'How fearful!' cried Gudrun. 'But it is long ago?'

'Oh yes, they were quite boys,' said Ursula. 'I think it is one of the
most horrible stories I know.'

'And he of course did not know that the gun was loaded?'

'Yes. You see it was an old thing that had been lying in the stable for
years. Nobody dreamed it would ever go off, and of course, no one
imagined it was loaded. But isn't it dreadful, that it should happen?'

'Frightful!' cried Gudrun. 'And isn't it horrible too to think of such
a thing happening to one, when one was a child, and having to carry the
responsibility of it all through one's life. Imagine it, two boys
playing together--then this comes upon them, for no reason
whatever--out of the air. Ursula, it's very frightening! Oh, it's one
of the things I can't bear. Murder, that is thinkable, because there's
a will behind it. But a thing like that to HAPPEN to one--'

'Perhaps there WAS an unconscious will behind it,' said Ursula. 'This
playing at killing has some primitive DESIRE for killing in it, don't
you think?'

'Desire!' said Gudrun, coldly, stiffening a little. 'I can't see that
they were even playing at killing. I suppose one boy said to the other,
"You look down the barrel while I pull the trigger, and see what
happens." It seems to me the purest form of accident.'

'No,' said Ursula. 'I couldn't pull the trigger of the emptiest gun in
the world, not if some-one were looking down the barrel. One
instinctively doesn't do it--one can't.'

Gudrun was silent for some moments, in sharp disagreement.

'Of course,' she said coldly. 'If one is a woman, and grown up, one's
instinct prevents one. But I cannot see how that applies to a couple of
boys playing together.'

Her voice was cold and angry.
Published in: on September 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment