What are humans capable of!?

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Foster (6-9, 11, 14) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"Violence is one of the most personal and even intimate acts between human beings, but it can also be cultural and societal in its implications. It can be symbolic, thematic, biblical, Shakespearean, Romantic, allegorical, transcendent. Violence in real life just is."

After reading this quote within Chapter 14 of Foster's book, I felt that it was a very true statement. This quote can be compared to O' Connor's first short story. "The Misfit's" knew that violence was bad, but still did it. As like all humans know, violence is bad, but they still do it. It seems that as time passes, violence does not diminish, but seems to grow. As in literature and many poems, violence plays a role. This seems to be an important role because it has a lot of symbolism, Shakespearean, Romantic, and many other types of connections. The violence that was conducted by "The Misfit's" was not necessary, but played a role in the development of the story. Overall, no matter what type of violence it is the act that is being conducted is either personal or intimate in real life or in literature.

3 Comments

Foster definately has a point. Like you said, violence seems to increase, but what's more interesting to me, is the fact that violence is a constant. Unfortunately, it is one of the only things that remains constant through the generations. The type of violence of course changes, but violence has been around for as long as humans have.

Hearing what Foster had to say about it, I can really see how all violence in literature has a point. I mean, the Misfits could have been a group of helpful citizens that came by and turned the car back over, but then what would have been the point in turning the car over at all? Until the car overturned the group hadn't actually met any people that were really bad, and meeting them brought about the conclusion of the story.

I agree that violence is significant in works of literature, but I am uncertain about your statement about violence growing rather than diminishing. I can understand why you would say that, although I have to say that I am not sure that it is very accurate, even if it appears to be. Firstly, think about all of the violent acts that were committed in the past that most of us (hopefully) would never think of committing again: slavery, Holocaust, beheading in Elizabethan England. But then, we do have guns and nuclear power and other violent mediums that may not have been used in the past. So, I really don't know if violence is something we can classify as a growing problem. Perhaps it has always been there, just in different forms and perhaps we acknowledge it more now than people used to...we view in a very negative way. And if you ask me, that in itself is progress.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on January 31, 2007 8:35 PM.

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