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Columbine

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Transcript of Columbine

Columbine
Novel by: Dave Cullen
Presentation by: Sarah Kim

Summary
David Cullen was a regular reporter who covered the story of the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. However, Cullen takes it a step further. He dedicated ten years of his life trying to uncover the mysteries and untold stories that were hidden behind all of the false reports and claims. Throughout the novel he works on clearly showing the motives behind the two shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Cullen works with a before and after method to show what led up to the shooting and how the society recovered from such a huge tragedy. The book refutes some major beliefs and theories that are wrong. Both boys were not psychopaths that had no mental control. Eric was indeed what is called a textbook psychopath but Dylan showed no signs at all. Cullen emphasizes that Dylan was actually a depressed kid who was very suicidal but couldn't bring himself to commit suicide. So instead he had bottled everything up. Soon, he couldn't hold it in anymore and his depressive anger turned him
towards homicide. This book also makes it clear that the shooting
had nothing to do with bullying, abuse, or gangs. It was simply about
two boys who hated mankind.
Author's Argument
Quote 1
"The shooters kept moving. Lance regained consciousness. He felt someone hovering above him. He reached up toward the guy, tugged on his pant leg, and cried for help.

"Sure, I'll help, " the gunman said" (Cullen, Ch. 11)
Quote 2
"SWAT teams searched the building for over three hours, but the killers were lying dead the entire time. They had committed suicide in the library at 12:08, forty-nine minutes after beginning the attack" (Cullen, Ch. 17).
Quote 3
"The cameras missed the outside murders and could not follow Eric and Dylan inside. The fundamental experience for most of America was almost witnessing mass murder. It was the panic and frustration of not knowing, the mounting terror of horror withheld, just out of view. We would learn the truth about Columbine, but we would not learn it today" (Cullen, Ch. 14).
Logic Triangle
Rhetorical Square
The First main argument that Dave Cullen makes is: do not neglect the truth because it is more simple and convenient than actually trying to understand the unbiased truth. The second argument is: do not rush healing.

"The final portrait is often furthest from the truth" (Cullen, Ch. 50).

"The thought of sending any schoolkid back inside was unthinkable. The library had to go. Independently, and collectively, most of the thirteen families came to that conclusion quickly.

Students reached the opposite consensus. They spent the spring battling for the idea of Columbine, as well as the proper noun: the name of a high school, not a tragedy. They were repulsed by phrases bandied about like "since Columbine" or "prevent another Columbine. " That was one day in the life of Columbine High School, they insisted"( Cullen, Ch. 41).
Pathos
The obvious appeal to emotion in this book is the victims who lost their lives and the loved ones who had to mourn for their losses. But the way Cullen puts this pathos into use is more important. He attempts to humanize the victims and make them more than just names on a list for the readers.

"...the angelic blond junior who'd dressed up for a function at the Marriott on Saturday instead of prom. She was scheduled to speak at her church's youth group on Tuesday. Cassie's house sat right beside Columbine property" (Cullen, Ch. 7)
Logos

There is a lot of logos throughout this book because Cullen uses logic to explain things to the reader.

"The public couldn't wait that long. The media was not about to. They speculated" (Cullen, Ch. 14).

This is logic as to why so many false reports were made on the day of the shooting.
Speaker
The speaker throughout the novel is Dave Cullen, the author. Although he does use many quotes and reports from other people he is still the main voice.

"Two thousand mourners turned out: I attended both events for the memorial, in 2006 and 2007" (Cullen, Ch. 53).
Audience
Cullen targets a more mature audience because some descriptions and imagery of the shooting are very graphic and unsuitable for younger Children. Also, the the theories and concepts dealing with the psychology behind it may be difficult for younger people to fully understand or process.

"It was horrible. The room was a shambles; blood spattered the furniture, and enormous pools soaked into the carpet" (Cullen, Ch. 16).
Ethos
He provides ethos by outwardly stating where all of his information regarding psychology in his book came from.

"All characterizations of psychopathy in this book were based on the latest research, founded primarily on the work of Dr. Hervey Cleckley and systematically refined by Dr. Robert Hare" (Cullen, Ch. 40).

-Also he dedicated ten years in writing the book.
Subject
The subject of the book is mass murder and the aftermath of such a tragedy. Cullen focuses on why the two boys did it and how the society dealt with it afterward.

"A terrifying affliction had infested America's small towns and suburbs: the school shooter. We knew it because we had seen it on TV. We had read about it in the newspapers" (Cullen, Ch. 3).
Purpose
Cullen's main purpose in writing this book is uncover the truth behind the event by breaking all assumptions and false claims.He retraces the whole event and aftermath in great detail in order to tell the world that most of what they think they know about the Columbine shooting is wrong. He tries to convey his purpose in a very unbiased and factual way.

"The final portrait is often furthest from the truth" (Cullen, Ch. 50).
THE END
Full transcript