Actions Don’t Always Define The Person

In the short story “Escape from Spiderhead” it details the experiences and decisions of a former jail inmate. In one of the pertinenet moments of the story Jeff has to choose between giving the Darkenfloxx to either Heather or Rachel, the two girls he formerly had relationships with. Before the second trial was held with Rachel, the head of Spiderhead, Abnesti, gives Jeff the details of why Rachel was also in the testing facility to make it easier for him to hurt her. She too was there because her extensive involvement of drugs and the murder of three different people. After Abnesti informed Jeff of her actions he thinks to himself, “But I still didn’t want to kill her” (75). Jeff’s thought to himself resonates to the theme that actions do not always define the person. In Jeff’s mind although Rachel had done horrible things to many people in her life, it didn’t effect Jeff’s decision to not want to hurt Rachel; because the actions of others do not always effect morals. Additionally, Jeff’s former actions also do not change his ultimate decision. Closer to the end of the story Jeff explains why he was also in the testing facility. Jeff too commited a murder and by most or all people he would be considered a bad person for killing an innocent human. However, although he too had killed someone he did not want to hurt Rachel or anyone in the facility. He knows that it is the worng thing to do and it makes him feel pain. Therefore, this section of the story relays the messege to the reader that although Jeff had done terrible things in his past it doesn’t mean that that is who he is as a person and that he would ever want to hurt someone again. It also informs the reader that someone elses bad actions doesn’t make it morally right to do wrong back to them.

One thought on “Actions Don’t Always Define The Person

  1. Nick W.

    I agree. I think Saunders wrote this story carefully so that it was clear Jeff was a different person from his former self. He didn’t deny that Jeff had done horrible, inexcusable things in the past, but he did show that Jeff still had the capacity to do the right thing.


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