Is violence crucial for self-identity in literature? violance ,identity

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One would hope that violence is not part of the self-identity of any sane person in modern society, in the sense that anyone who actually needs to commit violent acts as part of their self-identity would be a sociopath. In certain primitive societies, violence against animals (hunting) or people (raids against competing tribes, simulated violence of athletic contests or war games) were parts of rites of passage for young men reaching puberty, as also were certain forms of ritual mutilation or sexual initiation, but in modern western societies, such acts are uncommon. In literature, certain authors focus on construction of masculinity through violence against animals (Hemingway) and violence is part of self-identity on stories set in a military environment (e.g. Catch-22) and certain types of genre fiction (westerns, spy novels, murder mysteries) 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial