1. In the short story "Always a Motive", Dan Ross depicts Joe Manetti, the protagonist, as an isolated, and heartbroken young man.

2. Joe Manetti, a confused young man, has lost his son in a tragic accident and is dealing with the loss of his wife who has left him. Joe Manetti has experienced a great depth of emotional suffering and severe anguish, which has become unbearable. Joe is no longer a father or a husband. The only peace that Joe seems to find is when he is out driving. After Joe is arrested for the kidnapping of the Miller child, the Inspector asks Joe where he was the day the Miller child went missing.

3. The story is a clear reflection of one man's battle to prove his innocence when unfounded accusations are made against him. This story has a pronounced man versus society conflict. Quite often in life we make hasty decisions based on appearances, misinformation and bias. Ross brings this fact to the surface in this story by immediately bringing our attention to the surroundings with " he hesitated under the blue glow of the mercury streetlight" ("Always a Motive" p.107) and to Joe who " was young and shabbily dressed"(p. 107)

4. As the questioning perseveres, Joe can only passively answer the questions with his, tormented eyes upon the Inspector repeatedly stating his innocence (109). His face never changes as he is slumped wearily in his chair [reciting] the same story over in a weary, agonized voice so low that the Inspector strained to hear what was being said (110). Joe is too depressed to try and clear