Violence

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  • Publicado : 28 de enero de 2011
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Whenever I hear on the news events such as an 85-year lady being attacked aggressively in her own residence by a burglar; or two Palestinian gunmen attacking an Israeli settlement leaving 2 Israelis dead and 15 more hurt; or a woman in Brooklyn Park being raped by 5 attackers; or a rabbi hired a murder to kill his wife; then only one word comes to my mind: violence. Crime, abuse, psychologicaland physical aggression, and all other expressions of violence remind me how difficult it is for human beings to coexist and interact in our complex society. According to the Cambridge Dictionary violence is, “any act, behavior or word that is intended to hurt someone.” Similarly, I express my global definition of violence as any demonstration of aggression against an animal, thing or person(including himself/herself). Since violence can be categorized in different ways, circumstances, places and time, its meaning can certainly be modified by people’s perception. Nevertheless, I agree with Emanuel Marx, a social anthropologist who has studied violence in its less severe forms, and who says that violence can be classified into two major types: "appealing" and "coercive" (Marx, 1976)Appealing violence is used on the spur of the moment, without thinking in advance, while coercive violence, the one we are most familiar with, is expressed via a direct threat, and used in a premeditated and controlled manner to achieve a particular purpose or social objective. These two types of violence, which can be daily seen, reflect how human beings express their indignation and reject certaincircumstances or pressures, look for keeping, maintaining, or gaining power and control one another, or plea for help when communication no longer effectively conveys the message.

Anyways, no matter how violent events appear in our lives, what is clear is that they always create some kind of negative or positive feeling and reaction. In fact, because of the tremendous impact that violence causesin people’s mind, the media, news, television programs, filmmakers and writers choose aggression, fight, murder, and all kind of violent events as one important part of their stories and arguments.

For example, in the case of the book All the Pretty Horses, violence, as an important element in the context of the novel, is used to introduce death as a mechanism of punishment, and pressure as thecause of uncontrolled anger and fury.

To introduce violence as a mechanism of punishment, the writer creates a background for Blevins, a naïve young boy who acts without thinking about future consequences. In this case Blevins gives us an image of an inexperienced and innocent person who acts spontaneously in defense of his own ideas and interests. On the other side, there is the Captain, aman who doesn’t have compassion and respect or value for another’s life, but who, at the same time, stands for the law of a small town. Blevins, as many other people in real life, doesn’t know another way to express his indignation, so he appeals to violence to recover his horse and his other belongings. As a result, not having had the capacity to visualize danger or risk, he is trapped in adifficult violent situation in which he loses control, then his freedom, and lastly his life. His death, at the hands of the Captain, is the result of an uneducated society that believes in violence as a way to solve problems and maintain control. The captain’s actions: the way he imposes his authority, the way he tries to control others, the way he obtains information exerting psychological and physicalviolence, represents how people and civilizations that have power utilize aggressive mechanisms to solve problems by using the easiest and quickest way: force and violence rather than expending time and resources by using the most complicated but satisfactory way: communication.
In Colombia, say, even when the death penalty doesn’t exist, hundreds of people are condemned to disappear and die...
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