Just Steel (Why They Kill?) Essay, Research Paper
Why They Kill ?
.The dust cleared, the heroin once again emerged victorious. Steel, with
little help from his faithful sidekicks brought two known felons to justice. It was just for those who believe in the saying an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The case looked to be wrapped up, or was it. Who s to say that an incident like the death of Siby s family will never happen again. Luis and Luther, the antagonists, are dead, but people like them still pose a threat to society. The people may not even be aware of it, their family and neighbors will all say, “He couldn t have committed those crimes, he couldn t hurt a fly. The only way to stop these senseless acts of violence is to find out what the people are thinking. Why did Luis and Luther commit murder?
.There are different perspectives on why people commit murder. The true
perspective is whether the criminals that commit these crimes are ignorant or
suffer from some mental illness.
.It is difficult to define a mental illness. The term has many different
definitions across the globe.
.Because norms vary between cultures, behaviors considered signs
.of mental illness in one culture may be considered normal in other
.cultures. For example, in the United States, a person who
.experiences trance and possession states (altered states of
.consciousness) is usually diagnosed as suffering from a mental
.illness. Yet, in many non-Western countries, people consider such
.states an essential part of human experience. In Native American
.culture, it is common for people to hear the voices of recently
.deceased loved ones. In contrast, most mental health
.professionals in Western cultures would consider such behavior a
.possible symptom of schizophrenia or psychosis. (Encarta 1)
.The general definition of a mental illness depends upon the norms of a
particular society, or the rules of behavior. Behaviors that are in violation of these norm are usually considered to be signs of deviance. In other cases
these signs may also indicate a mental illness (Encarta 1).
.According to the psychodynamic perspective mental illnesses are caused
by unconscious and unresolved conflicts in the mind. Freud stated that these
conflicts arise in the early years of a child s life. Freud theorized that the
conflict centers on three interacting systems: id, ego and superego.
.The id is a part of the unconscious that constantly strives to satisfy the
basic drives to survive, reproduce, and aggression. The id operates on the
pleasure principle: it seeks immediate gratification. It is the same level as a newborn that cries out for satisfaction whenever a need is felt.
.The ego operates on the reality principle. It gratifies the id s impulses in a
realistic manner that will bring long term pleasure, as opposed to pain or
destruction. The ego contains our partly conscious perceptions, thoughts,
judgments, and memories. It balances the impulse demands of the id and the
restraining demands of the superego. Without the ego, we would express our
sexual or aggressive impulses whenever we felt them, without restraint.
.The superego focuses on how one ought to behave, their ideas and
morals. It challenges the ego with the thought to consider not only the real but also the ideal. Someone with a weak superego may want only self-indulgence
and remorselessness (Myers 391)
.With this evidence it seem that Luis and Luther both suffer from problems
that stem from the id and their superego. Obviously these two men have a low
level of thinking, with the id of their mind controlling their thinking. Throughout the book Just Steel, Luis and Luther only act with aggression. From the time those two criminals enter the story they already have showed their evil side. Showing no compassion towards Brisby or his innocent family. Luis and Luther could have just taken what they needed and left. Their aggressive drive from their id persuades them to savagely kill the Brisby s wife and children (Orszula,27+). According to a study done by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the leading cause of children s death is homicide(Health 1).
.There is another aspect of their id thinking that should be brought to
attention. Their sex drive pokes out in the book, no pun intended. While in a
Mc Donalds, Luis and Luther are discussing the plans for the next day. The
plans consist of finding and killing Steel, otherwise known as Brisby. During the conversation Luis asked Luther about what he was going to do that night. Luther responded get laid . Luis followed in that idea. Even with huge plans the next day these two criminals, that have lost their minds, show their aggressive drive on having sex (Orszula 178).
.These two criminals definitely have a problem with their superego. If the
superego represents moral ideals then these criminals have no superego. These two criminals go around killing at will. Without question they will kill a
defenseless child that poses no threat. These two criminals must have no sense
of good and bad.
.According to sociocultural perspective, mental illness is a result of social, economic, and cultural factors. People living in poverty have demonstrated an increased risk of mental illness. It just so happens that mental illness is the highest percentage among those people that live in severe poverty.
.There is a direct relationship between poverty and intelligence with Luis
and Luther. Although it is never actually said that these two criminals are from or grew up in poverty signs are given. The one tell tale sign is the language the Luis and Luther use. Luis definitely did not receive any schooling past the third grade, if at all. Luis probably jumped the border and isn t even an American. Luis never once spoke in proper English in his rants of sentence fragments and street slang. On the other hand, Luther did speak English more fluently. Every now and then Luther s choice of words, if it was even a word, were not very intelligent. According to Wilbert Rideau, in his short story Why Prisons Don t Work , he describes the faces of the prisoners are different, but behind them are same impulsive, uneducated, unskilled minds that make dumb, impulsive choices (Rideau 225)
.Another sign is the type of job these two criminals had. No respectable,
educated man would have a job like this. A boss leaves that job, of hired gone,
for the idiots. They are only needed for their strength or gun, not their
intelligence. Also you need connections to get into something like that. That
would indicate that they came from some rough area.
.With that deduction it is now safe to say that these two criminals were
living in poverty at a time. It is evident that with such a poor education, or lack of, is a sign of poverty. With Luis and Luther living in a life of poverty, that puts them at the top of the percentile for being mentally ill (Encarta 1).
.With that evidence it is difficult to not say that Luis and Luther have some
mental illness. In relation to Freud s theory, Luis and Luther fit the bill for a mental illness. They also fit the criteria of other psychological theories, such as the Sociocultural perspective. After President James Garfield had been shot he told people around him, while on his death bed, that Guiteau is certainly crazy. No one but an insane person could have done such a thing. What could he have wanted to shoot me for (Kelly 31)?
.Health Care Village News. National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development. 3 May. 2000. 13 Nov. 2000. .
.Kelly, Tom. Murders: Washington s Most Famous Murder Stories. Washington
DC: Washingtonian Books, 1976.
.Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Microsoft Corporation,
.Myers, David G., Exploring Psychology. 4th ed. New York: Worth, 1999.
.Orszula, Ed. Just Steel. Harvard, Illinois: Chris Mystery Publishing, 2000.
.Rideau, Wilbert. Why Prisons Don t Work. The Bedford Guide For College
.Kennedy, X.J., Dorothy M. Kennedy, Sylvia A. Holladay. Boston:
Bedford, 1999. 225