Brittany Rixie  January 9, 2018       Nonfiction Book Outline Missoula by Jon Krakauer Meta-thesis and evidenceThe overall argument of the book is that rape cases are not correctly being handled in a college town because the justice system is unfair.The thesis is developed and supported through personal interviews, court proceedings, and news coverage.Jon argues for victims rights and criticizes the way institutions respond to the cases through the eyes of five women.

“Eventually Donaldson admitted, “Yes, I took advantage of you,” adding that he felt “shitty” about it. A little later, Donaldson told Huguet that he’d sought treatment from two different psychotherapists, prompting her to ask, “And you told them you raped me?” “Yes,” Donaldson replied” (50).This passage is an example of narrative writing. The author offers a specific story of Beau Donaldson having non consensual sex with Allison Huguet. This is an exchange between the two and detective Baker who got a warrant to secretly tape the conversation where Beau confesses to raping Allison. Without this confession and based on the pattern of rapes in Missoula, he wouldn’t have been found guilty without it. Not only is it the strongest piece of evidence in the prosecution it also shows the contrast between a victims and rapists mindset. Allison copes with the tragedy everyday without an escape but Donaldson having no consequences given, reluctantly admits to his crime.

“…All citizens are presumed to enter the legal arena on an equal footing, regardless of the real advantages that one of the parties may enjoy. The Constitution, therefore, offers strong guarantees for the rights of the accused, but no corresponding protection for the rights of crime victims.” (247).This quote shows that victims who choose to seek justice many face serious risks to their health as well as their mental health.

The U.S legal system is organized as an adversarial contest between two people. Although physical violence and intimidation are not allowed in court, psychological attacks are actually permitted. This furthers the argument that the justice system is unfair and why reporting assault is so difficult for womenA lot of evidence is given that serial rapists hide in plain site among all of us.

Frank “actually described two other rapes he did… And Frank had no idea that what he was describing to me were acts of rape.” Predators like Frank get away with it over and over, Dr. David Lisak explained, because most of us are in denial. We’re disinclined to believe that someone who’s an attentive student or a congenial athlete could also be a rapist” (134).

This quotation is from an interview with David Lisak, one of the top researchers on acquaintance rape. He is describing Franks actions, a young man who threw frat parties, got girls very drunk and then had sex with them while they lied their unconscious. This piece shows us that many rapists are oblivious or in denial of their actions. Predators like Frank are very hard to differentiate from everyone else. Rapists are not creepier than the average population and we can’t pick one out from a crowd.

They are found to carry the same characteristics as a common person: sociable, timid, and gentle. Because of the many incidents the U.S Department of Justice launches a federal investigation into rape in Missoula concluding that the County Attorney’s office is failing to address rape like it should.

The DOJ requires County Attorney’s office to hire independent investigations for rape cases to make it more fairKrakauer gives details that explains why the department found disrespect toward supposed victims. “We have a lot of cases where girls come in and report stuff they are not sure about, and then it becomes rape. And it’s not fair…I don’t think you did anything wrong. I think that it’s torturing you that you are accused of this. And that bothers me…This case, in my opinion, is closed” (59).

This passage is an example of narrative writing. A detective interviewing an accused male student quickly reassures him that she was certain he didn’t commit a crime. The attitude of the passage discourages victims to report their cases and allows perpetrators to get away with the crime without any consequences.II. Author’s credibility and biasI trust the author because he backs up all his arguments with endnotes documented with specific sources at the end of the book. The book is supported through personal interviews by victims of the rape cases.

The author is well known for his magazine articles and his seven published books.Krakauer describes a personal story about a close family friend that had been raped by an acquaintance when she was in her mid-teens. Embarrassed that he had been uninformed about the true light of rape motivated him to write the book. It’s not clear that he spoke to any prosecutors or police officers in Missoula. As a result, the book feels bias.Krakauer lets his disregard for specific city officials seep through the pages and doesn’t give them an opportunity to explain themselves.II.

Themes/subtopicsAcquaintance rape gives the chance for the defense attorney to accuse the girl of being bitter over a breakup or jealous of his other. The unawareness of acquainted rape.”..There can only be two precursors to rape: (1) A stranger jumps out of the bushes; (2) There is no rape unless the woman put up a fight, to the death if necessary” (334).This passage shows the most common rape myth that prevents many acquaintance rapists from being brought to justice. Joan Fargo, a jurist in Johnson’s case, says this to Jon Krakauer months after the case had ended. The author putting this excerpt into the book was a real eye opener to me.

People tend to believe that rape only occurs between strangers and that the only solution is violently fighting back. But in fact, being raped by someone you know is portrayed as “not as bad” vs. a masked murder. However, more than 90% of rapes occur between people who are acquainted. IV.

New understanding/connectionsI had no idea before reading this book how much I didn’t know and realized how many rape myths I unintentionally believed in.I catch myself wondering why/how the criminal justice system was built on not telling the whole truth. I learned that more than 90% of the time the rapist gets away with the crime because how arrupt the justice system is when it comes to rape cases. I gained knowledge and sympathy for sexual assault victims. The author split the book into two main cases showing one rare successful and the other not. Making, I think, a very strong book that shows two different solutions in court.

Don’t read this book if you’re not willing to consider the possibility that this tragic event could happen to you.I’ve come to the realization to never leave my cup lying and to not drink at parties. You can never be too careful.


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