What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

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Chapter eleven really struck me because it concerned violence in literature. Sure, when we see a rainbow we know to associate it with peace and happiness and love and the occasional covenant. Yes, rain can mean drear and depression, or if it's biblical, a cleansing or purification. But violence can be anything? Sometimes it's as simple as just part of the plot; Hemingway needs a reason to place his main character in the hospital and, in turn, meet the lovely nurse. But as Foster expertly brings up in Beloved, it can represent the unjustness and oppression that an entire race undergoes for hundreds of years. How than, should we interpret violence?

I think that the best we can do is assume that violence nearly always has a political agenda. WWI was a war that, for the first time, involved weaponry that did truly horrific and inhumane things. As such, many WWI novels are particularly critical of human nature and of man's tendency towards violence. Certainly be Vietnam the world had seen the terrible effects that humans could have on one another and literature reflects that. I think Foster would agree with me that it's safe to say that if a novel is written around the time of a major war and has a fair amount of violence to it, it could be a political statement.


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