The Psychology of Murder

in Chicago Literature



      psy·chol·o·gy  (  P  )   (si-kõl'?-jë) 2

        1. The science that deals with mental processes and behavior.
        2. The emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, group, or activity


      mur·der (  P  )   (mûr'd?r) 3

        1. The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice.




Murder plays an important role in Chicago literature. It is not something that is taken lightly in society or literature as a whole. However, the corruption and prejudices that have resided within the city have resulted in unintentional murders. A person's past situations affect their actions. This site has been designed to take this into account while looking at two pieces of Chicago "literature." Although the backgrounds to the stories are different, there are psychological reasons beyond each of the crimes. The after-effects of these crimes changed the lives of the people involved in each story and thereby indirectly the reader as well.


"Murder...had always been written from its least interesting angle, which was whether the police could catch the murderer. Crime fiction, then, unfolds from the more interesting angle of the criminal or someone implicated in the crime. In doing so, it shifts interest from mystery and its (always rational) solution to the irrational aspects of human psychology and holds 'its readers less by mathematical than psychological ties.'" 6





By: Heidi Gilbert and Jessica Cooper