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American Dirt


"American Dirt is a Grapes of Wrath for our times."
—Don Winslow
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Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

Created: 02/06/20

Replies: 20

Posted Feb. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Humanizing? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead? Is what he did, in the name of his daughter, any less paternal than what Lydia does for Luca is maternal?


Posted Feb. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I believe Javier wanted Lydia dead to avenge his daughter’s death. I think it would have been out of character if he had not wanted Lydia dead.


Posted Feb. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

Rather than look at his own behavior as leader of the Jardineros and how that impacted his daughter, Javier blamed Sebastian. An understandable reaction, in my opinion, would have been to reexamine how he was making his living and treating his fellow countrymen- -to reflect on how his daughter must have felt upon learning that her private schooling was being paid for with drug money- -and how her gentle, poetic father was ordering the murders of rival cartel members and innocent people who got in his way.

I absolutely do not believe Javier wanted Lydia to live. Had he let her go, Javier would have appeared weak. A cartel boss cannot afford for his rivals to see him as weak.


Posted Feb. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

A massacre is never understandable no matter how the perpetrator tries to justify it. Does it even matter if he didn’t want Lydia dead? After almost her entire family was cut down, it was not much of a blessing to keep her alive.


Posted Feb. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 140

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I think Javier was heartbroken but the violence was not justified, but somehow revenge in his mind. I think he ordered Lydia and her family killed and it was sheer luck that she and Luca were inside the bathroom and hid.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 337

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

The man is a violent megalomaniac who is the jefe--he will always respond violently and out of control when crossed--to lose his beloved daughter--especially in a culture where a man's wife is a queen, to be abused and or mistreated only by him, if at all, and whose daughter is a princess--is beyond all reason! In his rage, he would not care about Lydia or her son. Maybe once the bloodbath was over he might have a very brief moment of remorse


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 294

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

Of course his reaction was not understandable! Who kills 16 family members in retaliation for something you, yourself caused. He wasn't all that upset about the article until Marta reacted to it and killed herself. I thought it was odd that Marta didn't have some idea about what her father did and that she reacted that way instead of confronting him. He is not a stable person and yes he would have killed Lydia all the while telling himself he loved her. He is mentally unstable.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 356

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

Totally agree with acstrine and Navy Mom. Javier's behavior, not Sebastion's article, led to Marta's death. That level of violence is neither understandable nor justifiable. Also, I believe he wanted Lydia dead. Having a "mere woman" outsmart him and get away would be a stain on his reputation.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Andrea

Join Date: 08/31/18

Posts: 32

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

Javier’s reaction was understandable to the extent that he lashed out in a manner to which his storied background suggests that he was accustomed. Murdering Lydia would have been too quick and unsatisfying a solution for him due to his deep involvement. I do believe, however, that he wanted Lydia to suffer until she wished that she was.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
arb

Join Date: 10/27/18

Posts: 12

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I too believed he wanted her dead. He wanted retribution for what he believed was Sebastien's fault.
Yes it was understandable in Cartel language an eye for an eye, but not in real life.


Posted Feb. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 173

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I don’t believe that killing is ever understandable, but in Javier’s world revenge is the norm. I believe he was trying to kill Lydia and her entire family. Her escape with her son was a miracle.


Posted Feb. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 668

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I agree with cathoc, that while from our standpoint murder is never acceptable, Javier doesn't share our view. In the context of the character and his world, yes, his reaction was, if not understandable, then predictable. And yes, I do think he was trying to kill Lydia. Once he found out she was alive he even deliberately toyed with her a bit, purposely telegraphing his intent and increasing her fear.


Posted Feb. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 386

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I believe he wanted Lydia and her son to die with the others. I understood his reaction to Marta’s death. She was his life and he wanted revenge. Also because if who he was, no stranger to killing.


Posted Feb. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 192

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

Javier's life was all about revenge and killing so it was not out of character that he wanted Lydia and her son killed. The only way to be successful in a violent society is to totally eliminate people you feel are against you.


Posted Feb. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarae

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 25

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I think it’s quite understandable that Javier would be heartbroken over Marta’s death. However, he took no responsibility for his life in her suicide and lashed out violently at a perceived enemy. As cultured and literate as he appeared in Lydia’s bookstore, he showed his true colors as a beast when he massacred her family and continued to hunt her and Luca. He felt Lydia had betrayed him and he certainly wanted her dead.


Posted Feb. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jamiek

Join Date: 11/21/17

Posts: 42

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I believe he wanted her dead. There is no way as the head of the cartel that he could let her live and save face. When he sent people to massacre her family, he gave the order to kill everyone. Additionally, he could not let Lydia live and enjoy seeing her child grow up when he was denied the same opportunity— even if he was the cause of his daughter's death. It's so much easier to blame Sebastian than admit his own part in Marta's death.


Posted Feb. 20, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeb

Join Date: 10/09/18

Posts: 44

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I could believe that Javier only wanted to even the score with Lydia by killing her family to get even for Marta’s death. The killers were looking for Luca (her heart) among the bodies and of course Sebastian had to pay for writing the article. The other family members were to emphasize the scope of Javier’s grief. I could believe that he wanted to bind them together by sorrow except for the last line of the note...your suffering will be brief. Those words state Javier’s intention pretty succinctly.


Posted Feb. 20, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 192

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

He absolutely wanted her dead. Despite the feelings that he had for her, Javier wanted to make sure that lydia suffered in retaliation for the death of his daughter.


Posted Feb. 20, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TLVZ721

Join Date: 03/26/18

Posts: 21

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I think Javier was blinded by grief and rage and I think he had every intention of killing Lydia and everyone she loved. As crass as it's sounds, I think Lydia got lucky by being able to escape. But, maybe just maybe (the romantic in me hopes) Javier let her go because deep down he did love her (in his own way).


Posted Feb. 27, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bestmartin's Gravatar
bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 103

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

I have a dissenting opinion. I don’t believe he really wanted her dead. He had shared his poetry and feelings with her and she was someone who saw a different side of him. As awful as he was, the author also showed a more human part of him.


Posted Mar. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 154

RE: Was Javier's reaction to Marta's death at all understandable? Do you believe that he didn't want Lydia dead?

Understandable is an interesting word choice. I wasn't in any way surprised. When you have a person who has made the conscious choice to make a living in a field that demands the torture and slaughter of people; it is not surprising that he would use that method to respond. It is understandable not in the sense that I accept what he did as excusable or justified, but as it would be the expected result from a person whose mindset has allowed him to survive and rise to prominence as a cartel leader. Javier needed to lash out at Lydia and Sebastian for exposing who he truly was to his daughter, not just causing her suicide. I suspect that had Marta not killed herself but instead, had confronted her father with her knowledge, that Javier would still have exacted revenge. He was forced to face who and what he truly was in the eyes of his daughter but that also meant he was forced to admit what he was to himself. He could no longer hide behind his poetry, his genteel and cultured behavior. He could no longer look at himself through the eyes of his daughter. Marta was the one unsullied thing in his life, as was at one time Lydia. Their innocence of his murderous side enabled him to embrace who they saw him as and was a vehicle for him to compartmentalize his brutality; he was able to believe on some level that he was who he pretended to be. In some way the death of Marta and the loss of her innocence was also the loss of Javier's. I was not at all surprised he exacted such horrific revenge.
In the massacre scene the assassins look for a little boy and ask if that was him - I suspect they were looking for Luca, the response is to take a picture of the victim. I surmise that they were going to take that photo back to Javier to see if it was indeed Luca's body. That tells me that he intended to kill Lydia as well. Perhaps he only wanted his henchmen to bring her back so he could have a last chat before he killed her himself. Javier had no use for Lydia as a friend after he slaughtered her family. She would no longer believe the illusion Javier crafted and so desperately tried to convince her of was true and he no longer would be able to believe it himself. She had to die.


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