Literature Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write7,051 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

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) 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial