Monday, July 22, 2019

Song of an Innocent Bystander Essay Example for Free

Song of an Innocent Bystander Essay I am a bad person is Fredas view of herself justified? From the mouths of babes comes the truth. From the time these words are spoken Freda is OGradys favourite hostage, and through this she sees a chance to secure her own safety by staying on his good side. When the siege is over however Freda finds herself represented as a bad person by what Theo wrote on some napkins. Without anyone to tell her shes not bad, she is dominated by Theos view of her as recorded on the napkins. The napkins, which implicate Freda in Theos death, create problems for Freda because, by keeping them secret she is made to feel she has something to hide. It is as a result of these factors that in Fredas view she is a bad person. The bad man. is how Freda refers to John OGrady. Though in implicating OGrady as a bad man Freda is also revealing her view of herself as a bad person. From the very beginning of the siege OGrady took a liking to Freda, calling her honey, an obvious sign of affection. Seeking safety Freda found that by befriending OGrady she could at least have some control of her fate. As she grew older Freda began to feel that being able to connect with OGrady must have meant that she too was as bad as everyone said OGrady was. OGrady was the only person Freda could connect with and the only person who showed any sign of friendliness to her during the siege. At the very beginning of the siege OGrady asks the other hostages to take care of Freda. They all refuse to do so and she is placed in Theos care on OGradys orders. Freda, having witnessed this would have felt unwanted which would make her more vulnerable to OGradys overtures of friendship and her feelings of having been an accomplice in his badness There is something potent about written words. They can be held, scrutinized, each reading taking them further into the soul of the reader, planting them deeper. Fredas mum, in an effort to protect Freda from being slaughtered by the media hid the napkins that Theo had written on and, in effect changed the impact the siege itself for Freda. To a nine-year-olds mind, the only reason to hide such information was because it was either bad  or implicated someone as bad. The napkins became a testimony to Fredas badness. Freda had no counseling after the siege and her mother was busy with lawsuits, seeking compensation for the impact of the siege on the basis of Freda being a victim. Freda let her imagination and her mind seize upon the apparent attack on her innocence that is portrayed in the napkins and fearing being persecuted by the media. She soon found her life dominated by them, to her everyone must be able to see she was bad, everyone must have noticed. In Fredas mind the napkins had been exaggerated to such an extent she could not find any good in herself and was constantly reminded by their presence that, in Theos opinion, she was a crazy little bitch, freakish and, sick in the head. With words like this running through her head it is no surprise that throughout her teens Freda thought herself a bad person. The napkins became a guilty secret and Theos views of Freda were unchallenged by Freda or anyone else, because of this Freda took Theos word for fact and believed that the napkins revealed her true character. That crazy little bitch is telling him to shoot. The napkins implicate Freda in Theos death and OGradys suicide was directly linked to Theos death. Freda, as the sole survivor of the three feels responsible. This leads to guilt and her belief she must be a bad person. During the siege Freda had known the gun was not loaded, OGrady had told her it wasnt. When Freda said Do it (shoot Theo) she wished to scare Theo while OGrady was threatening him. Freda was angry and wanted to punish Theo because Theo was trying to separate her from her way out, which was, she believed, with OGrady. As the siege draws on Freda learns that OGrady has been lying to her and so when he tells her he has loaded the gun Freda doesnt believe him. She doesnt intervene to stop him carrying out his threat to shoot Theo through the door. She probably feels guilty because had she believed him she might have been able to use some of her influence over OGrady to protect Theo. It is this guilt which Freda feels supports her belief that she is a bad person. Freda feels she is bad because of the way she is portrayed throughout Theos napkins. Theos accusatory words and negative perceptions of Freda survive  as testimony after the siege. If Freda had had counseling or been able to give her account of what happened in the siege it would have been unlikely that Theos view of her could have been so powerful in shaping her view of herself. Freda is not a bad person but she has been made to feel like one.

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