Review Of Gil Bailie's Book: "Violence Unveiled: Humanity At The Crossroads"

1569 words - 6 pages

Accounts of what can no longer be termed "unspeakable" acts of violence and terror assault us daily. Newspapers and televisions capture the carnage and chaos that increasingly suggest the near-death of civility and the sure unraveling of the fabric of culture and society. How are we to understand the escalation of violence that threatens us as individuals and as a society? What are we to do in the face of the societal and cultural disintegration that follows in the wake of such terror? This worldwide escalation of violence, and the unsettling questions it raises, is the subject of Gil Bailie's book, Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads.In Violence Unveiled, Bailie makes accessible to a wide audience the groundbreaking work of the French cultural critic and theorist, René Girard. At the heart of Girard's theory is the idea that violence creates the foundations of culture. According to Girard, human beings are mimetic by nature, meaning, we imitate those we most love by desiring what they desire, and now possess. That is to say, human beings are deeply driven by the desire to possess what belongs to the beloved. Desire turns to envy; envy to rivalry; and rivalry creates an untenable conflict at the heart of our most intimate relationships, namely, the conflict generated by feelings of intense anger and rage directed at those we most love for possessing what we most desire. Such deep conflict, if left unresolved, undermines the stability of society and threatens its very preservation. Girard maintains that society attends to this conflict, and the destructive, violent impulses it generates, by creating the cultural myth of the scapegoat -- the witch, the heretic, the outsider, the disease-bearer, the Jew -- who is arbitrarily identified and selected as the source of the conflict. Ridiculed, tortured, expelled, murdered, or sacrificed, the scapegoat both satisfies and discharges the violence embedded deeply in our psyches while simultaneously keeping safe society's most important relationships. Scapegoating thus prevents the chaos and disintegration that would otherwise follow when imitative violence is left unchecked, and spirals out of control.For Girard, religion plays an essential role in the cultural myth of the scapegoat. Its societal function is to create, maintain, and mediate a sacrificial system that ritually and symbolically reenacts the violence done to the scapegoat. Religion successfully mediates the cultural myth of the scapegoat by veiling the violence, which is integral to the myth, under the mantle of the sacred. With the violence thus concealed, the scapegoat undergoes a curious transformation. By delivering society from its most destructive impulses, the scapegoat is transformed from the "despised and rejected" of the people to the "savior" of the people. The sacrificial system that is at the heart of religion is thus structured around rituals that symbolically reenact the necessary violence that saves society from...

Find Another Essay On Review of Gil Bailie's Book: "Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads"

"A Journalist's View"- Looking Backward at Us-by William Raspberry- AP Government Book review

1081 words - 4 pages "A Journalist's View:" Looking Backward at Us, William Raspberry. 1991. Journalists are often the most opinionated and outspoken media figures. Since they are given a lot of freedom in their writing, their opinions naturally figure prominently in their pieces. Syndicated columnists are among the lucky few that get paid to state their beliefs freely; being published in a daily newspaper is a benefit to their careers that journalists do not

Long Remembered but Little Noted: A book review on Lincoln At Gettysburg

1219 words - 5 pages Many of us recognize Abraham Lincoln as one of the most prominent American presidents in history. Many of us have heard of the phrase ‘government of people, by the people, for the people’. Many of us think we know the essence of the Gettysburg Address and its historical significances in the American Civil War, among which are freedom, democracy, equality. But there is more to it. In Lincoln at Gettysburg, Garry Wills guide us through both the

The Wizard of Oz Unveiled

1454 words - 6 pages and her background relates perfectly to the political issues that took place in real life during the time the book was written. Dorothy, the main character of the story, represents the common good hearted citizen; she is essentially who every American strives to be. Dorothy embodies positive characteristics and is viewed as the girl next door. She lives in Kansas where everything from the landscape to the lifestyle is portrayed as being lifeless

Book Review of The Chrysalids

4691 words - 19 pages Book Review of The Chrysalids The future society depicted in "The Chrysalids" is still suffering the after-effects of a disaster sent by God, which all but destroyed the ancient world of the Old People. The survivors called the disaster Tribulation. No one knows why it happened, but the narrator, David, attributes it to "a phase of irreligious arrogance

Review Of 'The Book Thief'

1226 words - 5 pages Review of: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak It seems sometimes like the market for young adult literature is written down to the readers, almost in a condescending manner. That is why a book like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is so refreshing in this sea of cookie cutter romances and fantasies. While classified as a young adult novel, it deals with very serious themes. The book’s cover comes printed with this label: “It is 1939. Nazi

The Book Review of 1776

1954 words - 8 pages actions and decisions that saw the British lead the war against the rebellious subjects that put the survival of America at the discretion of George Washington. The author tells a human version aspect if the story with accounts of those who walked alongside George Washington in the Declaration of Independence year. This was a time when the whole reason for Americans was based on the possibility of success. The book points out that without the hope

Review of the book Siddhartha,

853 words - 3 pages I am reviewing Siddhartha written by Hermann Hesse. In this paper I will try to break down this book with different philosophies. That means this paper is going to be a mess of different world views, cultures, all in the context of my understanding of life. I’ll be looking at the moral dilemmas of the characters in the book, bringing in perspectives from Hedonism, Existentialism, Utilitarianism, and concluding with a cross examination of

Book Review Of Planet Of The Blind

545 words - 2 pages Planet of the BlindStephen Kuusisto is a true poet. His tale of his journey through a darkened world, is told in words that are not just written, they are painted onto the canvas that is his book. I started off full of pity for Kuusisto. He made me sad for the life that he led. I found the image of him trying to read tragic. With his descriptions, I could just picture him leaning 2 inches above a book, with one eye pointing the wrong direction

Book Review: The Shame of the Nation

2158 words - 9 pages problems and conditions he discusses, it just would of made his writing more effective and useful if he had ways of solving the issue at hand. "In writing this book, I have visited approximately 60 schools in 30 districts, situated in 11 different states. Most of these visits took place in the years from 2000 to 2005, although several of the narratives, as will be noted in the text, go back considerably earlier (Kozol, 2005, To The Reader)." Along

Stand at the Crossroads Ministry Run by Deborah Lamb Reaches Out

911 words - 4 pages In the community, there are a lot of groups that have an impact in the Aiken area. One that has made a significant difference is Stand at the Crossroad Ministries. Stand at the Crossroads Ministry is run by Deborah Lamb, who is willing to accept people from every walk of life despite their past. Through her background, sacrifice, and acts of services, Deborah Lamb has become an asset to the community. Stand at the Crossroads is a Christian

Deborah Lamb Reaches Out to Communities with Stand at the Crossroads Ministry

704 words - 3 pages In the community there are a lot of groups that have an impact in the csra, but the one that has made a significant difference is stand at the crossroad ministries. Stand at the cross roads ministry is ran by Debora lamb who is willing to accept people from every walk of life despite their past. Through her background, sacrifice and what Deborah Lamb dose as the director of stand at the crossroads has become an asset to the community

Similar Essays

Enemy At The Gate Book Review

1248 words - 5 pages Enemy at the GatesWilliam Craig's book Enemy at the Gates Tells the gripping tale of one of the bloodiest battles every waged and a pivotal point in the Second World War. Being somewhat of a war buff I was intrigued to read this book, I had little or no knowledge of the battle of Stalingrad or the events that took place there during the 900 day siege. I am happy that William Craig took over five years in researching this insightful and

Book Review Of Darkness At Noon By Arthur Koestler

622 words - 2 pages BOOK REPORT DARKNESS AT NOONDarkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler is a fiction story, which depicts the life of what appears to be a Bolshevik member during the revolutionary periods of Russia. Although the author doesn't name the country where the story line takes place nor does he give real names, it's pretty obvious Koestler is writing about Russia (Country of the Revolution), Stalin (Number One), Lenin (the old man with the slanting tartar

Complete Book Review For Book Enemy At The Gates: "The Battle For Stalingrad" By William Craig. Summary Of Book Thoughts And Feelings About It

714 words - 3 pages Book Review for Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad by William CraigBy: Cole HaymondWilliam Craig has done a wonderful job with the complete overview of the Battle for Stalingrad. What is interesting about the book is the fact that it follows different people and it shows their progression as you go through the book. The book tells the stories of citizens fighting for their lives, Privates, Corporals, Sergeants on the front lines, to

Hammer, Richard: One Morning In The War: The Tragedy At Son My. Book Review, Includes Biography Information About Author. 2 Sources Besides Book Included

2453 words - 10 pages Max Hutson with murder, intent to commit murder and rape; and Captain Eugene Kotouc with assault, maiming and murder." When this book was written, the War Department was still debating whether to charge more than thirty-five other soldiers for murder, rape and assault.The American people upon hearing about the massacre at Xom Lang seemed to be revolted at the events that happened that morning. But much of the public felt sympathy for the men on