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The Survivors


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How much is the community responsible for the deaths of Gabby and Bronte?

Created: 01/30/21

Replies: 5

Posted Jan. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elisabethc

Join Date: 07/16/19

Posts: 42

How much is the community responsible for the deaths of Gabby and Bronte?

It seems like Harper comments on the complexity of guilt and responsibility throughout the book. Even though Sean is revealed to be the one who is actively guilty of the deaths of Gabby and Bronte, I felt that the story challenged the reader to think beyond viewing things purely in terms of personal and individual responsibility and consider how others in the community and the community as a whole could have inadvertently contributed to the deaths.

How responsible do you think the community is for what happened? What differences in factors outside of Sean do you think might have prevented the deaths regardless of what his personal inclinations and choices were under the circumstances?


Posted Feb. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 108

RE: How much is the community responsible for the deaths of Gabby and Bronte?

I do not think the community had any responsibility for these deaths. Criminal acts are perpetrated by the criminal. I do not believe in collective guilt. These were tragedies that went beyond the understanding of the locals.


Posted Feb. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyb

Join Date: 04/14/20

Posts: 46

RE: How much is the community responsible for the deaths of Gabby and Bronte?

I agree with vivianh. The perpetrator of the criminal act is responsible not the community.


Posted Feb. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TeganEmma

Join Date: 02/23/21

Posts: 5

RE: How much is the community responsible for the deaths of Gabby and Bronte?

Ooh what a good question! I disagree with the other commenters to an extent; whilst the majority of the guilt and responsibility falls to the perpetrator (Sean), there is definitely some culpability for the wider community because there were factors outside of his control (ie the community's attitudes and behaviour) which strongly influenced his decision (and his feeling that the decision he made was the only option he had, because he knew how the community would react). In saying that, yes he had other options and made the wrong choice, but in the absence of the community's previous actions and behaviour and how he knew they would react to him and Gabby, he seems like a person who would have gone through life never committing a crime, so I don't think he can be held entirely responsible. Certainly MOSTLY responsible though.


Posted Feb. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
slp54me

Join Date: 12/09/20

Posts: 4

RE: How much is the community responsible for the deaths of Gabby and Bronte?

Yep, I’m with TeganEmma on this. He did feel that based on what the community would say, he only had one choice. A wrong choice, but with his type of personality and living in a small town your whole life, it made sense to him.


Posted Feb. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 261

RE: How much is the community ...

Community does have an effect on it's participants. The smaller the community the more effect. Morals are expected by a community - right and wrong is dictated. Praise is given or withheld by a community. The turning of ones head or the show casing of one's actions can be determined by a community as a whole. Look at the popularity of a football team in a small community - usually over the top, whereas volunteerism by their youth may never be mentioned. The expectation of a community is definitely a large player in the lives of the people living in that community.

Now the actions of an individual should be solely their own. However when it comes to the actions of a young person, either male or female, the influence placed on that youth will have a large determination on their actions, be it parental influence or community influence. A young mind is being shaped by many factors and community is one of those factors.

I would not say the community is responsible for the deaths of Gabby and Bronte, but I do think that this community played a part, if only by dictating what they felt was acceptable and what was not.


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