The Utterly Perfect Murder

1061 words 5 pages
Leon Babaev 1608
Lamarre 1
English 1 Block 7
Leon Babaev 1608
Lamarre 1
English 1 Block 7
Self-acceptance and the Need to Resolve Emotional Conflicts in The Utterly Perfect Murder By Ray Bradbury
Being able to achieve self-acceptance plays a key role in allowing people to reconcile their past. Ray Bradbury explores this idea in his short story “The Utterly Perfect Murder”. This story, set in the main character, Doug’s, hometown is about a grown man seeking revenge on his childhood bully enemy. In this story Bradbury portrays the idea that people must resolve their past emotional conflicts before being able to gain self-acceptance.
Recalling his past humiliations with Ralph, Doug uses this as a source of self-criticism.
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Doug remembers Ralph as a giant and someone who pummeled and towered over him when they fought. In Doug’s eyes Ralph has become different. However, what he doesn’t realize is that he himself has changed while Ralph has remained static. Doug has grown up and moved away, while Ralph lives in the same house and is even the same height. This opens his eyes about what their relationship really was. They both needed each other for their own reasons. Ralph needed Doug as someone to inflict pain upon and Doug needed him to do that. Doug symbolically shooting Ralph is another example of Doug overcoming some of his past emotional conflicts. He takes away the “power” that Ralph had over him. Doug is able to move on with his life and he leaves Ralph standing there cluelessly, while Doug himself is ready to move on with his life. As he walks by his old home he frees the younger him from the pain of not being wanted or missed. Bradbury shows us that to be able to gain self-acceptance people have to resolve their past emotional conflicts in his short story, “The Utterly Perfect Murder”. Doug thinks he can stop his pain by killing Ralph and committing the most utterly perfect murder but Doug must actually “kill” the Ralph in his head. Bradbury shows us that the only utterly and truly murder can be one of the mind. However the shots that Doug shoots are his perfect murder because after this he is able to attain the freedom he needs to


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