Human Apathy Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1162 Words
Date:  2022-08-15

Apathy refers to the lack of certain aspects such as concern, feeling or interest towards life. It is true that the situation od Kitty Genovese was a case of human apathy from the incidences which were seen to take place in the night that Winston Moseley brutally killed her. Genovese was driving home from her job in which she used to work as a manager of a bar in Hollis in the early hours of the morning. She parked her car where she was used to parking since when she had settled in the area. Since her apartment had stores which were located on the first floor, she had to use the rear of the building to get to her house as the entrance was located at the rear side of the building. Winston Moseley who killed her noticed her as she was driving home and that is when he decided to follow her. Kitty took notice of a man who was walking towards her as she was walking towards her house. She then tried to run towards Austin street where the call box was located so that she could get help from the police from Richmond Hill. However, the man was able to grab her before she could be able to reach the call box in which her next action was to scream for help from her neighbors. Most of the neighbors heard the scream from the next apartment and they lit up their houses and also opened up their windows to grab the attention of what was happening (RENTSCHLER, p.642). Kitty screamed while saying that Winston had stabbed her so that people could help her. Her efforts to seek help from the people in the apartment were helpless as no one came to her rescue with the fact that they had heard her screaming. However, one man from the apartment instructed the man to leave Kitty alone. This statement yielded some fruits as Winston left Kitty alone but already stabbed. Human apathy came in as the man did not follow up so to help Kitty was already suffering from the knives that she had been stabbed. After the screams, the neighbors instead decided to go back and sleep while turning off the lights leaving Kitty helpless again.

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A man tried to rescue Kitty by informing the killer to let Kitty free, however, he was not as successful as the killer came back again for the second time. Winston, getting hold of Kitty again continued to stab her in which this time she tried to scream for help by informing the neighbors that she was dying. This made the neighbors from the apartment to light up their houses again and this made the killer escape again with the help of his car. The fact that the neighbors had woke up for the second time did not prevent the killer to come back for the third time. He found Kitty again and this time he stabbed her gravely. This time, one of the neighbors had tried to contact the police in which the police arrived at the scene in a period of two minutes' time. However, from the fact that the police had already arrived at the scene after the call from one of Kitty's neighbor, only two women, one being seventy years came to see what was happening showing the degree of human apathy from Kitty's neighbors.

Human apathy is present in Kitty's case as for a period of half an hour, thirty-eight citizens in Queens took a look as Kitty was being stabbed while they were in their houses and none of them went to her rescue. In the period of half an hour, the killer stabbed Kitty in three separate instances while the action of the thirty-eight citizens in the apartments was just to open the windows of the apartments and watch the incidence without taking any action. These citizens distracted the killer by the glow of the light in their bedrooms in which it was a good chance of helping Kitty to save her life but their actions were just to watch without contacting the police. One of the neighbors from the apartment who called the police exhibited human apathy as he decided to call the police after the killer had returned for the third time stabbing Kitty to her death. The Assistant Chief Inspector Lussen Fredrick also sees human apathy due to the brutal death of Kitty. This is because the after the investigation of the crime, he realizes that the killer had three chances of murdering Kitty during a time frame of thirty-five minutes in which the killer had to come back to complete his mission (Rentschler, pp.310-329). Fredrick explains that the thirty-eight citizens had human apathy as they had more than two chances of contacting the police about the attack in which if they did so, Kitty would not have been killed. Fredrick was shocked that the person who had contacted the police did so after Kitty was already dead.

After the death of Kitty, the police reported that most of the neighbors were said that they ha fear of calling the police but they did not give concrete reasons as to why they feared to call the police explaining the degree of human apathy. However, the police explained that one of the better neighbors had called the police although the call was made when it was too late. This case however, was explained by Lieutenant Jacob who said that it was understandable that most people fear to get involved in an area where there is violence but this case was different as the people where in their houses and they were near their phones which made this case to be different for them to not exhibit the fear of calling the police. These citizens demonstrated human apathy as they gave vague reasons as to why they did not call the police. One of the reasons as to why the police were not called was given by a housewife who said that they thought it was a lover's argument. Another woman said she did not want her husband to get involved in the case. Another couple explained that they were not sure why they did not call the police while they were in a chance to view clearly what was happening.


Human apathy is therefore well demonstrated in this case by all the thirty-eight neighbors who were in their apartment the night that Kitty was murdered. It is not right to watch a person being brutally murdered and take no action of helping the person out. The neighbors just heard Kitty's screaming but decided not to let the police know in which if they heard informed the police, Kitty would not have been killed.

Works cited

RENTSCHLER, C. (2016). Filmic witness to the 1964 Kitty Genovese murder. Urban History, 43(04), p.642.

Rentschler, C. (2011). An Urban Physiognomy of the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder. Space and Culture, 14(3), pp.310-329.

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