What is the aesthetic and political representation of violence in Saved?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There is very little aesthetic beauty to the violence that is presented to us in this play, and Bond deliberately seems to want to expose the horrendous nature of humans and the evil of which we are capable through the acts of violence that occur here. Of course, the most extreme example of violence occurs in Scene Six, where a baby is killed. This scene attracted massive public outrage, and the action is indeed sickening. However, equally let us remember the violence of when Pete murdered the boy with his van. Bond seems to deliberately want to shock us with the horrific and heinous nature of violence, confronting the audience with possibilities of what we are capable of as humans.

Let us not forget what Bond wrote about the violence in his works. In the introduction to another play, he writes that:

I write about violence as naturally as Jane Austen wrote about manners. Violence shapes and obsesses our society... It would be immoral not to write about violence.

For Bond, therefore, violence was a natural result of the changes that were taking place in society and the way that human life was forced to adapt and twist itself to shift from the square peg that it was so that it could fit the round hole that industrial society demanded. Industrial life, for Bond, featured a profound loss of identity as people were cut off from their roots and lost control over their lives. Given this political backdrop, violence was a natural response.


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