Katherin Rodriguez ENC1102 Joseph Cottle January 18, 2013
Dahmer Notorious serial killers such as H.H Holmes, who confessed to torturing and killing 27 women in his castle after forcing them to sign over their life savings to him, and Ted Bundy, who raped and killed over 30 women, have been terrorizing the country for quite a while. The movie Dahmer portrays an interpretation of the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, an ordinary chocolate factory worker who was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Jeffrey Dahmer was just 18 when he bludgeoned Stephen Hicks with a dumbbell when he tried to leave Dahmer’s house. Years later, he started luring young men into his apartment, drugging them, raping them, and finally murdering them, often keeping their heads or other body parts as mementos. He even got the police to return a man to him that had escaped by claiming that they were having a lovers quarrel and that the man was merely intoxicated. Dahmer literally got away with murder and it wasn’t until one of his victims managed to escape and call the police that he was arrested. The movie begins when Dahmer had already started committing the murders and shows flashbacks of his early teenage years during which he suffered from alcoholism. It ends with the escape of the last victim and a flashback of him not going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting like he was supposed to. The movie shows many of Dahmer’s internal problems: his battle with his own sexuality and the awkward, cloudy dynamic he has with his family, particularly his father.
In the movie Dahmer is portrayed as a twisted individual who refuses to view the world as other do but what it failed to show was Dahmer’s intelligence and complete belief in what he was saying. There is a scene in the movie where he is talking to the first guy he killed (before he killed him of course) about whether he ever fantasized about having sex with men. After Hicks replies that he is not gay, Dahmer questions him about the reason he has never tried to have sex with guys and whether it’s because society does not deem it to be acceptable behavior. This scene explores sexuality and how society plays a role in how it responds and contributes to it. Society has always had a central dogma in regards to sexuality: heterosexuality is good, homosexuality and all variations of it are bad. This reminds me of how the myth of the werewolf came about. In the present time we segregate criminals by placing them in a jail, a location where they cannot be part of society but that is still in society (as in, the physical place is located among cities). In ancient Greek times, criminals were punished by being kicked out of the civilization and never being able to return. Out in the woods these criminals were thought to be stripped of their humanity therefore becoming animal like(savages) or what is now known as a werewolf. This need to ostracize people that are “unlike” us has existed since the beginning of man. This viewpoint mixed with those of Christian people and conservatives who wish to keep their society pure based on biblical quotes such as “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”(Leviticus 18:22) have continually deemed homosexuals as morally corrupt individuals. The debate goes on as people look for the reason why some people are homosexual, as if it is some mental disability that needs a cure. There is also the question about whether homosexuality is a trait some people are born with or if it’s a choice. In Dahmer, it appears that Jeffrey Dahmer doesn’t care too much about what people think, on the contrary, he wants to go against anything what is “right” by social standards.
However, his instinct is to follow the crowd and be like everyone else so all this anger builds up inside of him. I think this is why he starts killing the people that he sleeps with, in an attempt to get rid of his sins and be able to deny to himself that what he has just done is not correct. He does get pleasure from controlling people though, as he said in his interview with Inside Edition(citation here). He derives a high comes from the power that he strips away from the men that canâ€™t defend themselves and Dahmer utilizes this drug to the upmost extreme. Another meaningful scene in the movie is when Dahmer is speaking to the victim he almost killed about how he truly felt. He claimed that the man was angry and that his true intentions were to kill. The man dismissed his accusations as Dahmer being â€œcrazyâ€? but he did not realize how completely serious he was. I believe that Dahmer truly believed that what he did was not crazy. During an interview, he claims that he just wanted to feel in control and sedating men was the way he knew how. (this paragraph has to be worked on, I just wanted to get my next idea out) The movie also portrays an intense relationship between Dahmer and his family, particularly his father. There is a scene in the movie where his grandmother is concerned because he has a mannequin in his closet that he stole from a store. His father confronts him about it as if he was reprimanding a young mischievous toddler although it is known that he is over 18. It appears that his father refuses to see that his son is not normal, like the rest of them as this scene comes to an end with them going to church (ironically).
1. Jolie, Angelina. "Being a Mother." 60 Minutes. CBS. WCBS, New York: 3 Feb. 2009. Television. 2. Baers, Michael J. "Dahmer, Jeffrey (1960-1994)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 1. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 651652. Gale U.S. History In Context. Web. 24 Jan. 2013. 3. Jeffrey Dahmer. People (New York, N.Y. : 2002) 43.1 09 Jan 1995: 4. Time, Inc. 24 Jan 2013. 4. Weatherby, G. A.; Buller, D. M.; McGinnis, K. (2009). "The Buller-McGinnis model of serial-homicidal behavior: An integrated approach" (PDF). Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Research and Education 3 (1).