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Always a Motive

Uploaded by PaulineM on Nov 05, 2001

The Characteristics of Joe Manetti, a hopeless victim


Joe Manetti, a confused young man, has lost his son in a tragic accident and is dealing with the loss of his wife who has left him. In Dan Ross’s story “Always a Motive”, the protagonist, Joe Manetti, portrays a hopeless victim struggling to survive.

Dan Ross depicts the struggle of Joe Manetti through Joe’s state of mind, his demeanour, and through the gentle return of the Miller boy. Each example allows the reader to follow and empathize with Joe and his internal struggle.

Joe Manetti has experienced a great depth of emotional suffering and severe anguish, which has become unbearable. Joe is no longer a father or a husband. The only peace that Joe seems to find is when he is out driving. After Joe is arrested for the kidnapping of the Miller child, the Inspector asks Joe where he was the day the Miller child went missing. Joe replied, “I was out driving. I drive a lot. I like to get away from the apartment…”(108). The manner in which Joe drives around aimlessly with no destination or purpose illustrates his state of mind. Joe is so emotionally isolated that he does not recognize the dilemma he is in. The Inspector further asks Joe for an alibi; Joe responds with his grief-stricken voice: “I don’t see how I’ll be able to prove anything. I get spells when I can’t stand it in my place. I take the car and I drive. Anywhere! I just drive until I feel better” (110). This is the closet thing to an alibi that Joe can respond with. Joe is continually getting spells that prevent him from being able to live a normal life. Until he deals with his pain he will remain in despair.

As the questioning perseveres, Joe can only passively answer the questions with his “tormented eyes” upon the Inspector repeatedly stating his innocence (109). His demeanour never changes as he is “slumped wearily in his chair [reciting] the same story over in a weary, agonized voice so low that the Inspector strained to hear what was being said” (110). Joe is too depressed to try and clear his name in the crime, “his tone [is] dejected” and his “agoniz[ing] voice” allows the reader observe and feel what Joe is experiencing (110). The only thing Joe is able to do is plead his innocence; however, his demeanour...

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Uploaded by:   PaulineM

Date:   11/05/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (723 words)

Views:   3027

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