The Hidden Personality

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The essay “He Would Never Hurt a Fly: War Criminals on Trial in The Hague” Written by Slavenka Drakulic in 2004 recaptures the life in Yugoslavia during the ethnic War and a crucial period of the dissolving country. This period of life was the 60’s and the generation was healthy there was no formula, cotton diapers, and no danger (Drakulic 1118). The essay is told by a native of Croatia, who uses her personal familiarity of people and the community to report using both journalism and fiction. It tells a story of the trial of a trusting young man named Goran Jelisic’ that becomes cultivated by the war going on around him.

Goran was a good looking, thirty year old fisherman with the innocent trusting face of a child. He was gentle, reserved, serene, loyal friend, and made people feel safe. Goran transforms into another person throughout time and becomes a monster that people have a hard time believing that one could turn into. The essay shows how his cultural surroundings influenced him to making rash decisions that affected the remainder of his life. When Goran finished high school he maintained a job as a farm mechanic, but was not happy with making so little money.

Then he proceeded to forging checks, which landed him in prison for a year and a half. He was released after several months only to be volunteered for war, and at the young age of twenty three Goran became a police officer. He shortly developed in the next Hitler by executing prisoners with no remorse. It was interesting that the journey of Goran’s inner soul began as a young man that was innocent and giving could later turn into such a cold blooded killer. How could one go from helping families in need to enjoying watching prisoners beg for their life and explaining how nice it was to kill (Drakulic 1123)?

Goran was on a power struggle and began killing old men, young men, and even women. He would determine the fate of someone’s life by pointing a finger. Was he given too much power or was really the next Hitler? It is debated in the essay that Goran was a narcissistic and antisocial personality determined by two psychiatrists (Drakulic 1122), or was he a victim of the war that lead him to kill for eighteen days. Another theory was that he was forced and afraid of his life. I find it ironic that he plead guilty and was willing to take his punishment with no defense.

This essay showed how we all are a victim of our upbringing and surroundings. It portrays a life of a normal human that had goals and ambitions but failed due to power of one’s inner soul. You can’t help but feel that Goran was a victim and not just a killer that turned, with the blink of an eye into a monster. He pretended to be God and got a high of showing his power by executing prisoners (Drakulic 1125). He was a young farm mechanic given a pistol and power that he had never received before, but had longed for his whole life.

It seems like Goran could have been anyone of us from the grocery store clerk, the CEO of a big corporation, or the stay at home mother that had just had enough. The human race is a complex breed that at any point we can be pushed over the edge. Looks can be deceiving and while everything appears to be put together the inner battle within ones soul could portray a monster waiting to be pushed over the edge. I believe that no one is brought into this world evil; they are a product of their environments that forms their inner demons. We all have struggles with them, however it is how you handle the challenges.

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