Nikolas Cruz vs. Antoinette Cosway

Mental illness has continuously been a very hard issue to talk about. Many people have varying opinions on it and where it comes from. Depending on the mental illness, it can be created over time or one can be born with it. The problem comes in when something happens and people do not know who the blame. This is the case with Nikolas Cruz and the Parkland shooting, which can help be explained by Antoinette in Wide Sargasso Sea.

In Wide Sargasso Sea is it very clear that Antoinette had a mental illness that was passed down from her mother. I do not know exactly what illness she had but there was clearly something wrong with her considering how she acted during Antoinette’s childhood. This rubbed off on Antoinette and made her especially sensitive to getting a mental illness. I think she had the illness before, but that Mr. Rochester definitely pushed her over the edge. When he found out that her family has a history of being “crazy” that is how he started to treat her and I think that is what drove her to actually become “crazy”. The last straw was being locked in a room for so long that she eventually snapped and started to see things that caused her to light the house on fire. In this case Mr. Rochester is mostly to blame and I think it is a fair assumption that he drove her to the point that she was at. Nikolas Cruz is a much different situation.

The debate over the Parkland shooting has many aspects, but one that stands out is the argument over whether this was a result of Cruz being bullied, or if this was inevitable. This question is part of the gun debate and whether an 18 year old should be able to purchase a weapon like that. People who are saying it was because he was bullied are trying to prove that gun laws would not have prevented him from getting a gun because he was “turned crazy” by his classmates. It is very clear that Nikolas Cruz has some sort of mental illness to be able to shoot up his old high school. Compared with Antoinette, Cruz’s situation is not nearly as severe, as being bullied in high school is nothing compared to being locked in a room like a crazy person. The question of whether bullying played a part in his decision to shoot up the school may never be answered, but a fair assumption is that he had a pre-existing mental illness and things that happened to him pushed him to this point. It was not just simply being bullied that pushed him over the edge and it is not fair to put blame on the children of the school who just lost many of their friends and teachers.

Antoinette and Cruz have similar stories, but Antoinette’s is a much more severe case of abuse. If there were things that pushed Cruz over the edge, it was not simply just being bullied. Thousands of kids are bullied in high school everyday. It would take a lot more than just bullying to decide to bring a semi-automatic weapon into their hallways and start shooting.