The opening scene on the fishing boat is loaded with rich symbolism and foreshadowing. Matt explains to Natalie’s son that it is against Maine state law to capture a female lobster with her eggs. In the animal kingdom, it is a commonly accepted fact that mothers who have young to protect are always the most violent and viciously defensive towards possible predators. In this story, the lives of two young men are taken. Though each of these “killings” was literally committed by a man, we can go back a step further and take a look at what was behind it. The gender roles of human beings are different than those of animals. Human females are expected not to be outwardly violent and aggressive. The tricky thing about this is that human females are not necessarily less violent than males fundamentally. The lead women in the story, Natalie and Ruth had their own subtler ways of contributing to the killings - behind every great man is an even greater woman.
It is unfair to put the responsibility of Frank’s death on Natalie. However, there are some indicators (especially in the movie) that perhaps she was not being as assertive with Richard as she could have been. Perhaps Frank wouldn’t have been quite as furious with the idea of Frank “making it with” his wife if Natalie weren’t doing things like pouring him a glass of milk when she unexpectedly finds him in her home. This kind of behavior, while possibly excusable as common courtesy by some, could very well have been perceived by Richard as her “leading him on”. The whole scenario of these killings paints a very complex picture of human behavior.
In the very last scene of the movie, we get a better idea of what kind of murderous anger Ruth was feeling. Upon receiving her husband in the early morning hours and learning that he had murdered Richard, her first idea is to go make breakfast - that her husband must have been hungry - that he ought to be fed and rewarded for what he had just done. She asks him if