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Fate versus Free Will: Dave Boyle

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  1. Introduction
  2. A decision made by free will
  3. Dave's struggle with fate and free will
  4. The most significant realizations of Dave's battle
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

The explicit mention of fate occurs only once in regard to Dave Boyle in Dennis Lehane's Mystic River, but the battle between fate and free will in his life is evident throughout the novel. Dave Boyle, a tragic character, has little free will to change the pre-determined forces that have shaped his life. The opening line of the novel ?When Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus were kids?? reflects the plotline and the characters. This opening fatefully situates Dave Boyle into the slot of a less significant person. Before he peaked as a baseball star in high school, he was the sort of kid who was only invited to the movies because he knew all of the lines and could recite them as entertainment, not because anyone particularly liked him.

[...] Every option of apparent free will led Dave . Dave chose to tag along with Jimmy Marcus on those Saturdays when they were young. If Dave had not exercised this free will he may have not been abducted by wolves. Dave chose to marry Celeste, another exercise of free will. If Dave married a more trusting woman, who was not always trying to escape her life or pretend she was a better person; his wife may not have told Jimmy Marcus she felt her husband had killed his daughter. [...]


[...] And he had stilled the monster inside of him, the freak who longed to touch a young boys hand and melt into his embrace in killing someone he had killed that weak part of himself.?[9] Dave flirted with free will in an attempt to rid himself of the boy who escaped from wolves and the pedophile that he kept within himself. It appears that this murder was in fact free will, but it was also fated to decide his life. [...]

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