To Bleed Or Not To Bleed


Intro to Lit Study--EL 150

Foster, How to Read..., Ch. 11 & 13

Violence is the most personal and even intimate acts between human beings, but it can also be cultural and societal in its implications.

Foster is indeed correct... that violence in literature do mean something. Just look at the example he gave from Toni Morrison's Beloved. Sethe didn't want her children to be slaves, so she seceeded in killing one of them. We see the message in that murder, that she loved her children that death is the only clear escape for them.

Of course I have to get back to my favorite genre, horror, for this explaination. Think back at all the books, films, and word of mouth stories you have expierienced. All the seemingly random violence wouldn't be there if it had absolutely not purpose to it.

In Stephen King's The Stand, all of the violence that is interwoven in the story shows the struggle between good and evil. Just before the perilous fight, 99% of the population is killed from a man-made disease. There is also a political message in the story (Foster touch on this in the reading). This disease breaks out of an American laboratory, in a time when biological warfare is in its infancy. King definitely had a statement there. In an interview about the book he said "If ever there was a species on planet Earth ripe for the thinning, it's us."


Kevin, you are right. I think that people get the wrong image in their head when they read that the mother killed one of her children to save them. She did the right thing, it may not seem like it, but it would have hated its life.
Horror is a great genre, however Kevin, i enjoy watching it instead of reading it. One i enjoy the best is SAW. The killer, who actually isnt the killer, puts victims into death situations to show that they are destroying their lives, whether it be obesity or drugs, but it helps the victims realize what they are doing. The 'killer', who also is a cancer patient, doesnt actually kill them unless they cant get out of the situation. The point behind the deaths is showing how you how a man like the cancer patient has no meaning to his life, but he sees these people destroying their own precious lively lifes.
Having death and killings in stories adds literary meaning to it and makes it that much better.

I don't necessarily think that every act of violence in literature and film has meaning behind it. Even Foster alludes to this belief somewhat. And I think when a writer employs "senseless" violence, it's very obvious to the viewer.

Sometimes the only meaning behind violence is "The author needed to get rid of this character" or "The story needed to spiced up."

I dont see how Dena and Kevin think that it was Okay for Sethe to kill her own child. If she was planning on killing her child she should of planned on killing herself. Of course, I wouldn't want my children to grow up in slavery and live that life but there are ways around it. People ran from slavery and it did eventually end. Well, my point.. I guess Foster makes it very clear why she killed her child but if you were to pick up a newspaper and you saw an article about a woman who killed her child because she didn't want her child to live in a world that was unfit and full of hatred..etc. What would you say? Personally I would say that the lady was insane and was wrong to kill her child and she should be punished.. Wouldn't you?