I Am The Messenger By Zusak

2431 words - 10 pages

In I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak, the main character Ed is a nineteen-year-old cab driver in Australia who has never amounted to anything. One day, while with his three best friends, an event occurs that forever changes his life. While in a bank, they are held up at gunpoint. Ed ends up stopping the criminal and saving the day. Days later, as the bank robber’s trial is ending, he tells Ed that he is “a dead man… [And to] [r]emember it every day when [he] look[s] in the mirror” (Zusak 38). This overlooked statement by the reader comes back in the end of the novel to reveal an important message that “everyone can live beyond what they’re capable of” (535). Before attending the trial though, Ed begins to receive playing cards with addresses, names, times, and movie titles on them that require him to complete tasks, which challenge him in more ways than he could ever imagine. In the short story “Good People” by David Foster Wallace, the two characters, Lane and Sheri, are faced with a situation that changes their lives as well; Sheri is pregnant with Lane’s baby. Even though Lane’s and Sheri’s situation is a little different than that of Ed’s, they relate greatly as all the characters are forced to make decisions that can alter the rest of their lives. In the novel, morality is used to accomplish self-discovery and growth of Ed’s personality by pushing his boundaries, and in the short story “Good People” by David Foster Wallace, morality is used to accomplish growth and the realization of consequences of one’s actions by placing the young couple in a faith questioning situation no adolescent wants to face.
When Ed is given the first card and visits 45 Edgar Street at midnight, he sees and hears one of the most disgusting things that he could imagine: rape and abuse. With such an unforeseen blow as this, he does not know what to do so he pushes away the task at hand and acts like it will go away. Days go by and the same thing continues to happen. As the reader visualizes this horrific act they ask themself how could someone’s morals allow themself to be a bystander of rape and not say anything or do anything about it? Ed though has never been faced with such an event so he does not know what to do. He believes that maybe if he leaves and tries to complete the other tasks that maybe the issues will disappear. The house constantly runs through the back of his mind to the point that it becomes a scream that he could no longer ignore. One night Ed finally gets up from his hiding spot and approaches the little girl crying on the steps of the house. Even though he is not able to step a foot into the house the little girl, Angelina, knows that he tried. That is when he realizes that he must do something. Upon returning home the person “running the show” has a different idea than Ed’s about how to make a change. A gun is left in Ed’s mailbox with “one bullet in the gun. One bullet for one man” (Zusak 80).
With racing thoughts, questioning, “why [has he]...

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