A Difficult Decision

Mara Dyer, the main character of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, makes a spur of the moment difficult decision to kill a man after she sees him abuse a puppy. Throughout The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, Mara, the main character, has made difficult decisions. Similar to all humans, Mara has decisions that she thinks through thoroughly, making sure that her decision will impact others positively, and others she decides on a whim. She has a power where she kills whoever she thinks about. This becomes clear to her when she figures out that she has killed three different people through the power of her thoughts. One time, she is walking past a house where she sees a starving puppy being abused by its owner. She tries and confronts the owner by telling him that he should feed the puppy and take care of it. However, he responds to her by telling her off. Instantly, Mara thinks of the owner in a grave manner, with his head open and flies swarming around his body. As she walks by the house again after school, she sees the man on the ground, exactly how she imagined him. She ends up taking the puppy to take care of and give it a good home. Although this scene seems to have an instance of karma and vigilantism (ordinary people in a place taking unofficial action to prevent crime or to catch and punish people believed to be criminals), the action to kill is unbecoming, and wrong. To abuse a puppy is illegal and wrong, but in all scenarios, so is taking a life. Mara took matters into her own hands without involving any sort of authority that could legally and justly put the man into prison for what he was doing. I believe that Mara was quick to act in thinking about the man dead (with full knowledge that he would die that way), and should have called in police or animal services to help her take away the puppy and put him into a home that would treat it well. If vigilantism similar to Mara’s situation is allowed to run loose in the country, crime will be at an all time high and there will be no justice. Different cultures, religion and people have different opinions on what is considered to be “wrong”. If everyone committed their lives to vigilantism, there will be no true, just and unbiased commitment to punishing crime. Instead, everyone will take matters into their own hands and punish perpetrators themselves. This can lead to an “eye for an eye” mentality. Whereas an unbiased jury or judge will be able to justly sentence a person to prison for their crimes, a person who has been hurt by a criminal in any form has cloudy judgement and therefore no ability to justly and unbiasedly punish someone. Mara Dyer’s decision, if accepted as a customary worldview, would be treacherous for any nation throughout the world. It is wrong and harmful for society, creating a world with no justice and no peace.

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