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Essay Example: Rebellious Act of Timothy McVeigh

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839 words
Vanderbilt University
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One of the conventional obligations imposed on the head of a human being is to excel during his or her lifetime. This happens everywhere in the world, and none is an exception to the fact that the society plays a significant role in nurturing an individual to seek the goals in a more conventional means. A lot of research work has concurred with the view that societal goals and expectations about an individual however big or small they may be, it is the same society that places a more significant impact on molding the same person to achieve the imaginary set goals. Society may choose to grant or deny an individual of the space to exhibit the exploits (Agnew, p. 49). About the theory of strain postulated by Robert Merton, individuals who yield to the pressure piled on them by the society are likely o get frustrated and use dubious means to achieve their desires. Surprisingly, such individuals develop zeal to achieve their goals by any means available to them and in most cases; the desired ways that want tend to de3viate from the societal norms.

First developed by Robert Merton, strain theory is thought to explicitly describe what happens to individuals under pressure to achieve but fails to record substantive achievement. It, therefore, comes in handy to explain some of the tragic occurrences that happen in the life several individuals who apparently throws their hands in the air and accept to fall prey of the intense pressure pilled on the, by the dictates of the society to be high achievers in all spheres of life (Ingebretsen, p. 43). Merton has emphasized in his writings that the USA social system was built on the American dream, which encompasses a set of principles that assured all Americans of equality regardless of gender, class, or ethnicity. Obsessed with achievement just like other Americans, James Timothy McVeigh became a military officer after his graduation from the US army infantry school. This to any ordinary human being was one of the accepted ways of climbing the social ladder to self-actualization. However, to Timothy, this was never to be since he wanted to have the full feeling of the career. At one point, he was the top scoring gunner who managed 25mm cannon of Bradley fighting vehicles after which he was deployed just like any other officer to operation desert storms (Ingebretsen, p. 50). As documented, it is realized that McVeigh while in high school, became a computer-interested student and could hack the government computer systems. Although he received several awards including bronze star medal, McVeigh was determined to join United States army, which is Special Forces in the UAS. His aspiration crumbled after returning home from deployment and entered selection program. Having failed to enter the department of the wish of his life, he decided to leave the army where he was honorably discharged in the year 1991 to exit.

McVeighs post-military life was full f frustrations of failing to acquire entry to the Special Forces he had ever wanted. While visiting his friends, in Michigan, he claimed that the US army had planted a microchip in his buttocks to track his moves. He started to work for long hours in a dead-end job and gradually developed a feeling that he had not made a home for himself, inferiority complex coupled with failure stripped the then an army officer, and he started to seek romance, but his accomplices thwarted his advances severally (Michel, Lou, and Dan Herbeck , p. 68). It is in this wake that he grew frustrated and angry. His next move was to try his luck at gambling where he wasted almost his finances and acquired massive debts. McVeigh started to look for a state exemption from taxes, but the government responded to him by stating that he had been overpaid $1,058 while he was still in the army, which elicited anger in him. While gradually growing frustrated, McVeigh started to look for options to achieve his status by preferring anti-government literature (Michel, Lou, and Dan Herbeck, p. 70). It is in the instance that he introduced his sister and eventually moved out of his fathers premises. His anti-government rhetoric became more radical and grew at the time he began to sell bureau of firearms and explosives, tobacco and alcohol. With his zeal to achieve a higher status impeded by failing to enter into the Special Forces, McVeigh instigates what became known as Oklahoma City bombing. This attack killed about 168 people with scores injured. Based on United States government, this was the deadliest attack meted on the people, and it remains a significant terrorism in the US history. Apprehended in June 2001, McVeigh was convicted which led to his execution for detonating an ammonium nitrate and nitromethane bomb.


Work Cited

Agnew, Robert. "Foundation for a general strain theory of crime and delinquency." Criminology 30.1 (1992): 47-88.

Ingebretsen, Edward. At stake: Monsters and the rhetoric of fear in public culture. University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Michel, Lou, and Dan Herbeck. American terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma city bombing. BookBaby, 2015.


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