Despite the fact that American society places a tremendous emphasis on television and other forms of visual media, literature still remains a ubiquitous inspiration in the minds of adolescent children. These works of fiction, like the rest of America’s violence-oriented culture, largely contain material based on aggression and warfare. However, not all young adult novels are about overtly violent behavior; some examples of nonviolent children’s and young adult literature are The Shadow Children Series by Margret Peterson Hadix, the Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver, and Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale. Each of these books contains situations in which large-scale acts of violence would typically be used as conflict resolution strategy. Nonviolence remains prevalent and influential in children’s and young adult literature, though its methods may encourage ideas that are against the basic idea of Satyagraha.
Violent Media is Good for Kids, by Gerard Jones, is an article which makes many claims to support the argument in which a controlled amount of violence could be beneficial for a young, developing child. Even though the topic of this article can be controversial, the claims serve to support the argument in many noteworthy ways. It is written in such a way that it tells a story, starting when the author was a child and works its way to his adulthood. In this case the author uses, what I believe to be just the correct amount of each rhetorical strategy, and fulfills his goal for writing the article. This argument is interesting and at the same time, effective. Throughout the analyzing process logos, ethos, and pathos are searched for and scrutinized.
This semester in American Literature I have read and analyzed various literary works. The reoccurring theme throughout the works is violence. I have came to the conclusion that the significance of violence throughout the various works is that the group or individual singled out throughout the works is the victim of violence because the enemy has something to gain from the victim. The literary works, Caged Bird, Giving Blood, Sand Creek, and An Episode of War demonstrate this.
Movies and Violence
Before a person reaches the age of 18 they will have witnessed over 40,000 murders, and over 400,000 other acts of violence. One research study concluded that just one hour of television everyday will increase the chances of a person committing an act of violence by four times. Violence depicted in movies will leave an impression on the viewer and the feelings they had about violence will slowly and subtly begin to change as the person becomes desensitized to violence.
C.S. Lewis wrote that “murder [was] no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts”. This quote's claim can be used to describe the consequences of media violence. Even the most appalling crimes can, gradually, deteriorate the moral compass that have been built up due to society, family values and religion. Despite what some may think, violence would not come in sudden burst of energy, instantly is recognizable, that would undue a person, but a slow pace that would be easing into violence that would be the cause. There would not be any warnings or “signposts”, to distinguish between being too close to the edge and finding amusement in, levels of violence, that years prior would have been unthinkable. Viewing violence on media outlets leads to desensitization towards violence and can encourage outward aggression. While there is research that claims the opposite, this paper will review the scholarship that disproves these claims and shows that media has a tangible effect on children. This paper will strive to prove this point by analyzing an article written on a relating current event, several articles that provide research about the subject and opposing viewpoints. The first to be discussed is the event that took place three years ago.
Everyone’s seen the classic cartoons. Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner around a bend, only the Roadrunner turns, but our comedic--and usually stupid--villain doesn’t. So, he falls from a height of what looks like about 500,000 feet, only to become a small puff of smoke at the bottom of the canyon. After all, if what happens to you when you fall from that height were to have happened to Mr. Coyote, that would have been a very short lived cartoon series. Maybe this example is an exaggeration, but the idea is the same: violence comes streaming into our homes every single day through our TVs not to be viewed, but to be devoured. It’s been proven that sex and violence sell. For those of us who can tell the difference between reality and fantasy, the effect of TV violence is miniscule. But for our children--who think when the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers come to the local shopping mall, that it’s the biggest event since Bert told Ernie he snores too loud--the violence seen on TV seems like a logical reaction to life’s problems. And that’s a problem within itself. The impact of televised violence on children is only a slice of the pie that is the problem with the endless stream of violent acts on TV.
The media and family violence impact in a negative form the life of children in their childhood because children do not have the enough capacity to differentiate between what is right or wrong around them. Violence is wrong because children’s brains are development day by day, but violence is what grabs more children’s attention. Children are exposed to violence inside their homes or when they watch some kind of programs, games or hear music that contain different kinds of violence or talk about it.
In “Violent Media is Good for Kids” Gerard Jones introduces us to his fearful and lonesome childhood. He lived in a world where he was taught to be the violence fearing, and passive boy his parents wanted him to be. But, when one of his mother’s students gave him a Marvel comic book, his fearfulness was transformed into inspiration. He found a way to escape these discouraging feelings through the “stifled rage and desire for power” (Jones 285) that he had newly found. The popular comic book hero “The Hulk” freed him from his passive and lonely persona. Throughout the article he cites his testimonies and the testimonies of others as examples; and shows how they used violence as a positive realm for “overcoming powerlessness.” (Jones 287) Ultimately, Jones is trying to convey the message that violent media can provide kids with psychological tools for coping with the problems that they face as they grow. Although there are slight hints of biased evidence, “Violent Media is Good for Kids” should be considered for the top prize for persuasive essays.
Though I do not watch much TV, I am aware of the rising display of violent content on TV. Whether it is through prime time sitcoms or cartoon channels, one can not deny that there is more violence. Cartoon violence used to be very fictional and easy to distinguish as the opposite of reality. Now however, in gruesome, explicit, and too often unrealistic portrayals of death and violence, the flexible minds of children are being not being torn by the moral issues of violence and anger, but the line between reality and fiction has become severely blurred. Death is seen as temporary in most cases, such as cartoons where the character killed comes back week after week only to be killed.
An Analysis of Power and Violence in Literature
Violence and power are both significant sources of conflict in the world we currently live in. Large animals exert their power over smaller ones through violence and through their consumption. In this example, we find the food chain. Humankind exerts their power through violence and power in a similar way, creating a hierarchy of power. Although not all violence is physical, it is still used to obtain control of another person or situation.