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Dissociative Rage

Diagnosing Literary Characters, One Murderer at a Time

in Fiction by

Murder is contextual. Meaning, the action of killing by itself tells us nothing about underlying motivation. A murder in war, for example, has an entirely different motive than a serial killer’s compulsive, methodical kills. It’s apples and oranges, really: both fruit on the outside, but very different on the inside. If we want to understand the mind of a murderer, real or fictional, we need to understand motivation. Truth is, murderers have motivations for their kills and they usually have a moral code, too. A skewed moral code, but it’s one which makes their kills make sense to them, nonetheless. And hey, when you’re driven to kill, who cares what everyone else thinks. Right? These three fictional villains certainly don’t.…

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