Specific time periods, such as World War II, and the Post-Civil War era bring to mind images of hate, death, and violence. Not solely external violence or violence that is carried out, such as murders, war, or blatant displays of violence such as those in Ellison’s Battle Royal, but internal violence as well. Internal violence is more about the mind, a violence of emotion, though internal violence is closely linked to external violence. They are linked not only because external violence causes internal violence, but also because of the reverse. This is seen in the works of Ellison, Borowski, O’Connor, and DeLillo.
In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor shows the effects of internal violence compared to external violence. On one hand you have the family members that are brought off to be killed. The only thing the author lets the reader know about their fate is a solitary scream when the mother, daughter, and baby are taken away. However, for the entire time that the family is being held hostage, the grandmother is talking to The
Misfit. She shows how people react to the internal violence of a stressful, and fatal ordeal. She pleads with The Misfit not to save her grandchildren’s lives, not her son and
daughter-in-law’s lives, but only her own. She has no fear for anyone but herself and is
consumed by the need to preserve her life. She tries everything she can to get The Misfit
to spare her. She tries to convince him that he is of good blood, and could never kill a
lady such as her self. She even tries to get him to turn to God for help. Of course none of this works but it makes a point. It makes the point that when faced with the fear of external violence, people will do any...
... middle of paper ...
...iolence is about. Its about fear, and helplessness because you realize that you too can die, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Every day you can watch the news and see examples of violence. Its all over, and
everyone has seen it. It seems that at least every few months there is another high school shooting where a teen rages against the society they live in the only way they know how, through violence, both internal and external. Internal because of the way they change the lives of those who live through the ordeal, and have the rest of their lives to think about how they saw their best friend get shot in school one day. External violence is directly related to internal violence because extreme violence, in person, scares people.
Charters, Ann, Comp. The Story And It’s Writer. Bedford/St. Martins: Boston and New
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