Essay about Joseph, Job, And Abraham As A Scapegoat

Essay about Joseph, Job, And Abraham As A Scapegoat

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Girard presents the stories of Joseph, Job, and Abraham as examples of the scapegoat mechanism in his writings. Joseph grows up with twelve brothers who resent that their father treats Joseph as the favorite son. Joseph is victimized by his brothers as a result of Jacob’s favoritism and they sell him into slavery in Egypt. This demonstration of non physical violence towards Joseph characterizes him as a scapegoat. The sacrificial victim is chosen from a perceived injustice caused by the brothers’ fears and desires for respect and is intended to bring temporary reconciliation for what is regarded as inequity amongst brothers
In Egypt, Joseph gains a reputation for his dream interpretation. He reaches the pinnacle of his influence by interpreting Pharaoh 's dreams, warning of seven years of plentiful harvest that will precede seven years of famine. When the strain of poor harvests threatened Israel, Joseph’s brothers were sent to Egypt by Jacob to search for grain. There, Joseph recognizes his brothers who do not recognize him. Joseph offers to exchange food for the youngest brother, Benjamin, to test the authenticity of their revelation. Will they “expel one of their brothers as they once expelled him” (29)? Judah offers to be held as a prisoner instead of his brother; thus he refuses the scapegoat mechanism which moves Joseph to reveal his identity to his brothers and forgive them (29). Instead of succumbing to the victimization of the scapegoat, he foregoes revenge and accepts their revelation by responding to violence with love. Through his actions, Joseph can begin the reconciliatory process with his family.
Additionally, Job is victimized by a wager between Satan and God wherein Job’s piety is challenged. God believes in Job’...


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...versarial imitation, wherein people enter into competition with models instead of admiring them for qualities we aspire to adopt. Glorification of violence encourages systemic instances of victimization and the prestige that follows. Additionally, idealizing the sacrificial victim prevents the community from acknowledging violence and achieving revelation and reconciliation. Therefore, the cycle of mimetic rivalry obscures the community’s violence and encourages an “expulsion of the single victim” to avoid acknowledging the faults of the community (35). Examining the process of mimetic rivalry and inquiring how to end the cycle- namely through revelation in accepting responsibility and reconciliation with the community- can provide the foundation for breaking the series and moving closer to God’s intentions for Jesus to represent the sacrifice to end all sacrifice.

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