The Psychology of the Terrorist
Robert Cormier on After the First Death
In this piece, Robert Cormier reflects on the influences at work in After the First Death. He discusses the type of person who could commit a terrorist act, and yet who could still see himself or herself as a hero or a patriot. In such a case, innocence would be reconceived as monstrous. The novel also let Cormier explore the stereotypical cheerleader character as the center for sexual fantasy and a love story. After the First Death, like much of Cormier's work, deals with parent-child relationships - filled with emotion and betrayal. These factors came together in the writing of the piece, but ended up taking their own course to a different destination than Cormier intended.
"Born to Kill"
In this paper, written for English 220 by Andrew Dimond in November 1982, the author explores themes of terrorism, innocence, personalities, and relationships. The piece begins with an investigation of the character, Miro. The author discusses Miro's early life in the terrorist camp - his education and indoctrination into the mindset of terror. From Miro's own perception, however, he is a freedom fighter and a hero. Standing opposed to Miro is Ben - an orphan of another sort. Similarly indoctrinated into patriotism, Ben's entire life has been subsumed by the general's prerogatives. Both have grown into conditioned believers - in both cases 'deprived children become depriving adults.'
Robert Cormier's response to Sally-Anne
In this letter to Sally-Anne, Robert Cormier discusses two of his novels. He talks first about the schizophrenic character in After the First Death, and the guilt that arises from sacrifice. Additionally, he addresses patriotism, freedom, and extremism. He then segues into I Am The Cheese, where he mentions the clues pointing to the fantastical elements of the story, specifically OZ.
In this university thesis, from February 2, 2010, author Jack Whiteley argues that what might seem like over-the-top behavior to one person or group of people, might be reasonable and logical from another person's or group's point of view. One could argue that by taking an empathetic stance, even for a moment. might lend nuances of understanding to the actions of the outcast. Hence his intriguing title, "One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter"