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In “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police”, Martin Gansberg began by describing the murder of Catherine Genovese. Genovese was stabbed to death on a public street while thirty-eight of her neighbors did nothing to help her. The author gives a detail narration of the facts that took place the early morning of March 14,1964.
As I read the essay it became more of a dilemma to me, if human beings are basically benevolent, why did thirty-eight ordinary people did nothing when they heard Genovese’s cries for help? They could have picked up the phone and called the police without putting their selves in danger, on the other hand, are we getting too indifferent or too frightened or too alienated or too self- absorbed to “get involved” in helping a neighbor in trouble? I think that’s a question that the author implicitly asks in this essay.
The society of that time was going thru a lot of changes and challenges having to deal with the Civil Rights movement, the assassination of the President, and the beginning of the Vietnam conflict, perhaps all this made this society more self-involved.
Or may be everybody thought that someone else would call to the point that when they saw her dead they realized that nobody made the call and that’s when they finally called. I think that the purpose of the author to write this essay was to make us reflect about what would we do in that situation and make us aware of what’s happening around us so we can look for each other.
It’s is difficult to put yourself in the position of any of this neighbors, I would guess that each one of them had their own reason for not calling when needed to prevent this death but I think that my reaction would be of concern for this person’s life, so even if I had to hide myself or anonymously call, I would have done it. I think we have to set examples, and the example that this neighborhood made was one of not caring for what happens around them so this type of events will continue, but if they would had stop this from happening it would have sent a message that people in that area won’t tolerate this to happen in their neighborhood.
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