"Killings" a Character Sketch Essay example

672 Words Oct 2nd, 2011 3 Pages
Stephen Hunt

Professor Wolf

LIT115 - 201

03 Sept. 2011

“Richard Strout, a Character Sketch”

Richard Strout plays the role of the antagonist in Andre Dubus’ story “Killings”. The character Richard Strout on the surface is a stereotypical spoiled ex-jock, with violent tendencies. There is more to this character though hidden below the surface. He is insecure. Richard Strout is as much a victim as Frank, the man that was sleeping with Richard’s wife.

Richard was a one time a successful High School athlete who had earned a “football scholarship to the University of Massachusetts” (p.98). Richard on the surface had it all. Richard was misunderstood and possibly pressured by others to be what they wanted him to be. It
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Yunior is the middle brother and has a problem of becoming nauseous when driving in his father’s new VW van. Yunior in the middle of the story recounts to us information about an affair that his father is having with a Puerto Rican, “I met the Puerto Rican women right after Papi had gotten the van.”(155) Using flashback Diaz is able to create for us a picture of how the father’s actions are having detrimental effects on his entire family.

The family finally makes it to their destination with Yunior of course getting sick along the way. Introductions are made and parents and children separate; kids in the living room watching television and parents carousing around the kitchen area. The Boys check begin to start checking out the girls and the girl are checking out the older brother, with a mute boy somewhat isolated among them all. The meal is finally served and Yunior is not allowed to eat by command of his father. The evening digresses into a make out session between Rafa, Yunior’s older brother and one of the girls. This sends Yunior down to watch the adults dance and converse until eventually Yunior falls asleep while thinking of his mother. The story concludes with the family driving back home, still awake Yunior observes a show of affection between his parents before he once again becomes nauseous.

Works cited

Diaz, Junot. “Fiesta, 1980.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed.

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