February 29, 2012
Questioning Ones Power
In T.C. Boyle’s novel When the Killings Done, Dave LaJoy the so-called animal lover and animal rights activist, who by the way hates humans, faces-off with Alma Boyd Takesue, the real animal lover that is trying to restore “Eden” to the way it was before being infested by rats and feral pigs. Both Alma and Dave are interested in animal rights but have different ways in doing so, Alma even though she’d rather not kill anything has to eliminate animals from Eden because she is dedicated to preserving the species unique to Eden’s environment and Dave, on the other hand, is on a ...view middle of the document...
But even with all the power she holds she still questions her motives and that is very ironic. The biggest moment is the story were we see her question her power is when she saw the downed boar up close and in flesh “This wild thing, this perfect creature” she thinks “She feels sorrow in the back of her throat, the sorrow of existence”(304). Through this moment of clarity we see this woman that was chasing down some of those pigs with Frazier, the one killing off all these rats, feral pigs change and start having more compassion for these animals. She really doesn’t want to be killing these animals she wants to let them just be but she has no choice because her job forces her to do what she doesn’t want to do anymore. But their were many other moments were many moments in the story where we see Alma start to doubt herself, when Dave vandalized her car on and also when she was thinking about abortion but before she could do it she had an epiphany when she knocked into the car: “Its only then that Alma notices the two children in the backseat of the car”… “Two small girls in school uniforms, belted in and craning their necks to see what the fuss is all about”(336). As we see Alma does have another side in her, the compassionate side the one with reason but it doesn’t really show because her life doesn’t allow it she has to be tough or she would not survive through the daily grind of her tough life.
Dave is the so-called animal lover who hates people and has it out for Alma. But Dave still questions his motives of controlling because he lacks the power to do so. Dave is passionate about not killing animals he is passionate to the point that he is willing to go to extremes to save an island of rats because he believes endangered animals will not go extinct ““a hundred and fifty years had gone by in complete harmony and balance [without support of humans]”(77). But his battle for the island starts becoming more of a battle to defeat Alma, a battle he does end up losing. He does in a way still care...