The Role of Music in Literary School Shootings- Endgame

The Role of Music in Literary School Shootings- Endgame


As there were no victories for the bullies to post about, I am able to continue my theme of the role of music in school shootings in books. This post looks at the novel "Endgame" by the late Nancy Garden.

R.I.P Nancy Garden

Nancy Garden

Since it's been awhile since I have posted anything relating to this very good novel, I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick run through. The story is about a boy named Gray Wilton who is on trial for shooting four of his fellow students dead and wounding several others at his school. "Endgame" is centred around the conversations between Gray and his lawyer. Gray tells the lawyer all about the bullying he had suffered at the hands of the jocks at the school. Many of the things done to him are some of the most horrible account of bullying I have ever read about. It's no wonder why in the end, Gray snaps in the way he does.

Now the million dollar question: What did music have to do with the shooting? In this case, the answer is fairly straight forward. Gray is a really good drummer. So good in fact that he plays at the Christmas concert. Unfortunately, this also leads to another bullying incident because right before the concert, his bullies destroy his drum kit. Furthermore, Gray does find relief in music and that is used against him after he carries out the shooting. Pupils and teachers say that he's into rebellious rap music and heavy metal, although that's never mentioned in the story. However, it is enough for many out there to conclude that Gray was influenced by music to carry out his crimes. Once again, we see music being wrongly blamed for a shooting just because it is easy to do so.

Actually, Endgame had me reflecting back to the Jonesboro, Arkansas shooting. I keep thinking of that teacher saying about one of the shooters that, "He was a fine boy before he started listening to that Tu-Pac Shaker and Bugs Harmony." I wonder if Nancy was thinking the same when she wrote "Endgame." Unfortunately, she is not with us to ask her. Still, I think she would agree that blaming music for Gray's actions is completely ridiculous.

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Published by Michael Lefevre

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