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1081 words - 4 pages

Anger is a very powerful emotion. Anger generates hostility and a loss of control. It can tear into a person's heart and ruin them. We see this in Norman Mailer's book The Executioner's Song. The main character, Gary Gilmore, demonstrates so much anger that his blind rage leads to murder. There are many sources of anger that lead Gary to commit the violent murders that he has. We see that Gary has a lot of pent up anger in him. This is shown in a number of instances. When Gary Gilmore was first put in jail he was 22 years old. As we hear through his depiction of prison life he spent a lot of time in solitary confinement and enjoyed telling people of his "hard-core" criminal ways. He stabbed a man 57 times for no reason at all. While in jail, Gary is placed in solitary confinement for four years of his sentence because he is unable to have normal relations with other convicts. This is not the behavior that a "normal" person exhibits. Gary also seems to be uncontrollable. He is proud of the fact that he had stolen. "By the time he was 14, Gilmore said, he'd broken into 50 houses. Maybe more." (354) Gilmore also states that he stole from stores, such as J.C. Penney's. He boasts about this to his cellmate Gibbs. He also picked fights frequently and fought very unfairly. In a rage Gary attacked Pete for making an accusation about Gary trying to get into a young girl's pants. Pete was "slammed on the neck from behind," by Gary. (124) Vern, Gary's uncle who witnessed the fight, then questioned Gary's manhood and integrity. Another uncontrollable urge that Gary had was the desire to rape females. He tried to convince Rikki, a friend of his, to partake in this action. Besides not being able to control his sexual desires he was also abusive towards women when he became the slightest bit upset. "Gary finally wedged her [Nicole] into the space between the bucket seats and got his hand over her mouth…He had his other hand on her throat to hold her down." (156) He was also very casual about slapping Nicole across the face when he gotangry. Once again this proves that his anger dictates his actions. Gary is also rather short with people. He tends to dismiss people rather quickly. An example of this is when Brenda and he got into a discussion over the color of his eyes. Gary got rather annoyed that Brenda thought they were blue and said, "Shut up and eat." (37) These accounts illustrate what Gary is capable of when his anger overtakes him. His anger ranges from drunken brawls, rape, abuse towards women, all the way to murder. However, we must examine the reasons and the sources that cause him to be this way. Whether it is due to a traumatic environmental...

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