Comprehending Columbine by Ralph Larkin | Teen Ink

Comprehending Columbine by Ralph Larkin

May 13, 2018
By Overlord-of-Oblivion BRONZE, Dalton, Georgia
Overlord-of-Oblivion BRONZE, Dalton, Georgia
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Rating: 4/5

In this book, Larkin examines social factors that contribute to the Columbine massacre. Whenever he began to discuss about the perpetrators, he complied with Brooks Brown's portrayal of Dylan Klebold being the follower of Eric Harris' plans.

I do agree that Klebold struggled with finding his true self in the possibilities presented to him. However, Larkin's argument that Klebold has sexual identity issues is dubious because of the source he derived this from. Even if Dylan did state that he was bisexual in an Internet chatroom, there is scant evidence of him mentioning anything about sexuality in his journal or people he confided in, but then, he hardly ever discussed or wrote about the impact of bullying on his mentality either except in the Basement Tapes. (Who knows what lies beyond words?)

Although Larkin has mixed felings about Harris' psychopathology, he at least recognized how the teenager was very suicidal and how he felt marginalized in his milieu.

Dr. Larkin also gave evidence of Klebold and Harris' obvious unpopularity at school, their hatred toward the social structure,  the jocks' and evangelists' flagrant condescension, and the staff's complicity or ignorance. High school was not the only cause though; cultural roots of the 1990s likely defined the killers' approach of thinking as well.

Because of the harmful social conditions surrounding Klebold and Harris, they chose to become renowned evildoers rather than anonymous losers. In turn, others like them followed the "avenger" persona and cause more grief for people.

Extra: Speaking of how society formed the perpetrators' rationality, I recommend reading Going Postal by Mark Ames. Although both works stated that their environment abetted their actions, Mark Ames believes that they were rebelling against the insidious operations of American tyranny while the writer of the article asserted that they were the products of society's general grotesqueness. I find that reading about this issue through different perspectives interesting.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.