“So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love”. Foremost, there are three big questions that come to mind that should and will be answered. Number One, what exactly is Faith, Hope, and Love? Faith is an allegiance; belief and trust in God; confidence; system of religious beliefs while Hope is the desire with expectation of fulfillment, and lastly, Love, Love is complicated in many ways and is hard to define but the simple most definition of Love is strong affection; warm attachment; beloved person; feel affection for; enjoy greatly.
That sums up question Number One. Number Two, what connections are there between the quote and the book, especially Miro’s thoughts/actions about Kate? Both Miro and the quote show/have Faith, Hope, and Love. Miro possesses Faith & Hope by hoping to show complete allegiance and confidence towards Artkin which is no problem but Miro’s Love especially his love towards Kate is wrong, inappropriate, and unsafe.
He talks about her body, what he wants to do to her; also talks about her nakedness and how it turns him on, and lastly, he talks about her boobs and how he wants to fondle and pet them. Lastly, Number Three, are Miro’s actions justified by the quote? No. It is disrespectful and highly inappropriate because that type of behavior would be Amatory!!! Amatory is induction or persuasion by sexual love or desire. Miro is being persuaded/manipulated by Kate the manipulator by his sexual love and desire for her which is not all entirely his fault because he is inexperienced with girls in general and Kate is trying to manipulate him but he really shouldn’t be that vulgar with what he wants to do to Kate and he really shouldn’t be looking at naked girls in general which would make him a pervert because it’s against the law.
Yes, there may be some states that it’s legal but in Massachusetts, it is illegal to sexually harass people and to promote sexual activity. It’s just plain wrong. Further in the context, what is After the First Death really about?
The thriller, After the First Death, by Robert Cormier is about terrorists from the assumed area, Palestine, hijacking a bus full of kids and a bus driver to “free” their homeland from the U.S. In the book, the main characters are as followed, Kate, the bus driver; Miro, one of the terrorists; and Ben, the son of Brigadier General Marcus L. Marchand. After the First Death is mainly written from 1st person perspective of Kate, Miro, and Ben switching periodically, and other small sections are written from the points of view of other characters. To conclude, Miro conflicts with the ideals of Right vs. Wrong through his Amatory contributions, Zealous and Inquisitive nature when confronted with his misguided loyalty to his role models. Like many boys, when Miro first learns that he is attracted to a girl, in this case, Kate, feelings start to stir up inside of him that sometimes make it hard to distinguish between being amatory or misunderstood lust, leading him to fantasize about what he would do with and to her.
For example, Miro was on the bus, intentionally watching Kate get undressed and other things too. But mostly, Miro looks at her in an inappropriate way and comments on her body in a vulgar way. He knows it wrong to watch, but not wrong at the same time because he knows about girls but doesn’t know what happens when it comes to a more extreme level which is why he is confused and startled. Cormier states this two different times, in two different ways, “He was looking at her, suspended, caught in mid-motion, one foot on the top step near the driver’s seat. Frozen. He wore the mask which always emphasized his eyes. His eyes were huge and startled. She could see them even at this distance. There was something else in those eyes. She knew that look”.“He watched the girl. As he never watched before. From all over the bus, from many angles…
But this watching was different. It was watching but also looking. It was using his eyes as a blind man would use his hands. Like now:…, he squinted up at her, seeing the right side of her face only as she bent over one of the children. An errant shaft of light outlined her profile. He would love to trace that delicate profile with his finger, down her forehead, over the nose that had a slight rising in it, and across the lips to the delicate chin. He pictured her, foolish thought, opening her mouth and nibbling at his finger, The thought startled him. Where do such thoughts come from? His finger in her mouth, her lips nibbling?… He had always been embarrassed by the sexual displays of American girls…She did not know he was watching. His eyes were half closed as he sprawled in the seat, pretending indifference.
Kate was only seeking to relax, to ease her tired body, as if she were alone in her room. He could not take his eyes away from her breasts. They were not large but they stood out prominently. He wondered what it would be like to hold one of her breasts in the palm of his hand as if it were a small puppy to be petted and caressed… But he could not deny the attractiveness of the rounded buttocks in the tight jeans. He tried to recall her buttocks as he had seen them in that earlier glimpse, unclothed, uncovered, pale and pink in their roundness, the glimpse too swift, too little. Now Miro was able to study her buttocks without hurry, for she seemed preoccupied with whatever view lay beyond the window… He continued to stare at Kate’s body while Kate continued to look out the window”. Miro struggles with his newfound feelings for Kate. He is turned on by her body because he has never seen a naked girl other than in the body charts that he used to learn for torture tactics.
He imagines what he will do to her sexually, and what she will do back to him. Even some of his references such as petting her breasts like small puppies shows that he is immature, while at the same time sexually, to the point of being a pervert. He likes her but doesn’t really understand what these feelings are really about because he was taught only to see a body for torture, rather than for the artistic beauty that it can be. He is not mature, nor old enough to really understand sex and the feelings that he experiences toward Kate. Miro is conflicted with the ideals of right vs wrong since he was never taught how to think about or treat a woman (or girl in this case). He wants to be like Artkin, who is a cold-hearted vicious person who believes he is doing these things for his country’s freedom. Yet, he has feelings of desire toward another person and seems to want to make a connection with Kate, which is something that Artkin seems incapable of doing.
Atkin sticks to a plan, where Miro is able to daydream about what could be, even sexually, which allows Miro a little bit of freedom in its own way. Being zealous can be a good thing unless you are misguided in your loyalty for another person or thing Miro, eager to learn and please, places his trust in Artkin, who takes him down the wrong path. A path of terror and death. Miro feels a sense of duty and loyalty to a person that has a warped sense of duty to his country. He is eager to please and falls into the trap of devotion, however, misplaced. Miro’s relationship with Artkin is not based on respect, but rather master and subject. It is written by Cormier, “And now it was Miro’s turn to follow Artkin’s example”. “He had been waiting for four, almost five years now”.
“Expect for Artkin”. “The world would become meaningless without him. So would Miro’s own life”. “To die with Artkin would be a great thing”. Miro has trained for this moment for a long time. He trained under Artkin who he sees as a true patriot and therefore wants to follow in his footsteps. He is zealous manner leads him down of the path of terrorism because of his misguided sense of loyalty for another person. He is eager to please Artkin and do whatever he is told to do in carrying out a plot to hurt others in the name of patriotism. Miro believes life is not worth living without the approval of Artkin. He is eager to die with his mentor, however misguided, all in the name of patriotism and loyalty. Miro longs to feel a sense of belonging and his zealous nature puts him in a dangerous way of life. Because Artkin tells him that his parents are dead, Miro feels the need to please Artkin through his sense of loyalty even when faced with doing the right thing (should he kill Kate or not). He struggles with right vs wrong in the name of patriotism.
Being inquisitive is a natural way to learn in every aspect of life. Miro gains Artkin’s trust and starts to ask more questions about the mission and their relationship. Miro begins to question if Artkin has been intentionally lying to him so that Miro can be manipulated into carrying out the missions. Miro begins to question his role in the missions and purpose in life and how he fits in with Artkin and his plans. Miro’s mind starts to wander in the middle of the mission when being spoken to by Artkin. He has a hard time focusing due to his longing for information. Cormier states in the book, “Miro had dared not question Artkin–no one was foolish enough as to do that”. “A question had formed itself in his mind, but he was too timid to ask it. He had never questioned Artkin before, had been content, indeed pleased, to carry out orders”.
“At least Artkin was now confiding in him, explaining their position. He also had not taken offense at Miro’s anger and impertinence. He had asked bold questions in the presence of Stroll, and Artkin had answered the questions”. “‘I have found that you are good at questions.’”. Miro learns to be bold and start asking questions of Artkin. His inquisitive nature allows him to dare to question Artkin even though other feared him. He struggles with a sense of misplaced loyalty and longing to belong to something and somebody, so he starts to inquire about many topics. Through his inquisitive nature, he is able to gain Artkin’s trust. Miro is full of questions and a misguided desire to learn and please his mentor who is not an appropriate role model. He struggles with pleasing a person that he really doesn’t really know or understand.
Patriotism for one’s country is a good thing when it is out of a sense of duty and loyalty to defend and keep others safe from acts of terrorism, war, and harm of any type. Miro is taken from a young age and trained to be a killer all under the name of patriotism for his country. He is mentored and trained by people who have no regard for life, even their own. As he starts to mature, he begins to ask a lot of questions from the very person who has taught him to hate and love at the same time. Artkin may have taught love but the type of love that he taught is not a good love because it teaches Miro to kill in the name of his county, not because of any wrongdoing from others, but because their end goal is to retake their country back from the United States.
Atkin believes his country was taken from them and will do whatever it takes to get it back, even die. Miro starts to ask questions and feel things toward others that he has never felt before. He is immature but has adult feelings for Kate even though those feelings are not reciprocated. He fantasizes about Kate to the point of being noticed by her, and even being a little uncomfortable while doing it. He doesn’t fully understand what or why he is feeling these things. Throughout the book, Miro struggles with his sense of duty vs the ideals of right and wrong. There are times when he knows that what he is doing and thinking are wrong, but he does them anyway, all in the name of patriotism. There are times when it is felt that Miro may do the right thing, but when raised with such hatred and manipulation, he has a hard time distinguishing the right thing to do. The author attempts to make the reader think deeply about right vs wrong, moral vs immoral, and reality vs imagined.
He makes one think about relationships, how they form, and how they can change over time. No matter what happens, and how Miro feels toward Kate, in the end, he goes back to what he knows best…. he suspects that she has lied to him about Artkin being his father, and does what he has trained his whole life for…he kills her. Miro’s sense of duty won out over his sense of doing the right thing. People should stop and assess their relationships in life so that hopefully they can make informed decisions about living their life in a meaningful, thoughtful, healthy manner. Growing up is difficult, but as one learns to trust from an early age, hopefully, they can learn to be inquisitive by learning and gathering information in order to make informed decisions and long-lasting, healthy, reciprocal relationships. Maturity is not a given trait, and learning how to feel and when to feel things, such as like, love, hate, sadness comes with time and trust in others.
Feeling amatory as Miro learned, is not about sex alone, it is about more about trust and knowing who to share those feelings with. Learning to control amatory feelings comes with time. All through life, young people are met with conflicts, navigating through right vs wrong and finding the right role models to follow. Sometimes the struggle to do the right thing because of a misguided sense of loyalty to another person can result in really bad things happening. Making informed decisions about who to be loyal to is extremely important. There is nothing wrong with being inquisitive, and zealous in life. These are traits that can help one achieve a lot of positive things as long as they learn to trust the right people and causes. Trust is an important factor in growing up healthy and successful. Having amatory feelings for another person is not a bad thing, but when a person is not mature enough to understand when and how to show these feelings, unintended things can happen. Save the amatory feelings for adulthood!