“Columbine” by Dave Cullen. Reflection #1 (Chapters 1–9)

Before beginning to read Columbine by Dave Cullen, I set expectations for the writer’s writing style, point of view, use of emotional appeal, and the connections the writer used when relaying the horrific events of the Columbine massacre. I expected the book to be written in third person point of view, and for the writer to use insight from those involved in the incident.

I have always been interested in crime investigation. From watching Law and Order to NCIS, I’ve always been drawn to trying to crack cases and figuring out the motive of the criminal. Columbine automatically appealed to me, where my expectations were more than fulfilled.

Cullen uses an interesting approach when talking about the massacre. He builds up to the crime by describing those involved, as well as including their relationships and how their friends and family saw them. He built emotional appeal by sharing every detail of those involved, as if they were a friend or family member. Building up to the incident, Cullen describes the motives of the gunmen, Eric and Dylan, and explained the plan as if he were inside their heads, and he did this all from third person point of view. I am truly impressed with the writing style of Dave Cullen. He goes back and forth frequently between describing different people involved, and did well of drawing his readers in before relaying the incident. Never would I ever have been able to see inside the heads of the shooters, nor understand their motives. Although it’s impossible to completely understand what was going on in the shooters’ heads, Cullen gives insight on what they might’ve been thinking when going through with their plans, and he does it efficiently.

Cullen mentions regret at the end of chapter nine. He relays a conversation between two staff members the day before the accident, as they tell each other their regrets. This is ironic because their lives would be put on the line the very next day. I feel that this relates to my own life, as I am always cautious of having regrets. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and events like this can open people’s eyes to the reality that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, or the next day. The first nine chapters have taught me that we must live everyday as if it will be our last, and let those around us know their importance in our lives.