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Comparison of The Crucible And Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

In the most publicized gay bashing, the dead body of Adam R. Schindler Jr., an American naval radioman, was found battered and disfigured in a public toilet in a park in Japan where he had been serving [Sterngold]. After revealing his homosexuality to his peers in the army, he had been left unrecognizably mutilated and beaten to death. In response, in 1993, the Clinton administration initiated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” [DADT] which meant that military officers could not investigate a soldier’s sexual preference without reason and a soldier should not voluntarily disclose it [McGowan 4]. Historically, the US military had never directly banned gays, only their actions of sodomy, but a change occurred during the World Wars after the Christian belief that homosexuality was a sin pervaded the military [Frank 1]. An anti-gay conviction that it weakened the military and demoralized the cause led to attacks similar to that of Schindler. Likewise, in The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, a colonial village found itself trapped in hysteria for justice, order, and retribution to weed out the “heathens” that disrupted the peace and infected their community. In both instances, preconceived notions and Christianity played major roles in the government policies that alienated the destabilizers of the society. Until the accusation of the more respected people, their questionable means of information and resultant punishments were undisputed.

The prejudice of both modern military policy and the Salem witch trials is built on the misconceptions and stereotypes of the accused. The belief that gay men are feminine shorts-wearing, roller skaters invested with AIDS [McGowan 13] and the perceived image of a sex-driven gay contrasts the military’s “bastion of…

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…, Department of the Army, 2001. Print.

Frank, Nathaniel. Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America. New York: Thomas Dunne, 2009. Print.

Korb, Lawrence J.. “The Costs of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Center for American Progress. N.p., 2 Mar. 2009. Web. 9 Nov. 2010. .

McGowan, Jeffrey. Major Conflict: One Gay Man’s Life in the Don’t-ask-don’t-tell Military. New York: Broadway, 2005. Print.

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. 1953. Reprint. New York: Penguin Books, 1976. Print.

Sterngold, James. “Navy Plans Murder Charge in Death of Gay Sailor – New York Times.” The New York Times – Breaking News, World News

Psychoanalitic Approach to The Minister’s Black Veil

“All within hearing immediately turned about, and beheld the semblance of Mr. Hooper, pacing slowly his meditative way towards the meeting-house. With one accord they started, expressing more wonder than if some strange minister were coming to dust the cushions of Mr. Hooper’s pulpit·” Working in the realm of the Gothic, Nathaniel Hawthorne hits upon psychological points that few of his readers are willing to explore. Of course, one may not be able to relate to an example involving such an “eccentric” display as Mr. Hooper’s. There is a sudden hush throughout the audience, followed by a rush of low whispering. He walks past them, oblivious to the goings-on and proceeds to the front. Something has changed, and everyone is aware. It is painfully obvious that he wanted everyone to know, for the wounds of the change were self-inflicted· Putting the scenario this way helps to give an anonymous and general view to the former example. This method is used to show how realistic, even common, this somewhat absurd event may actually be. In a psychological analysis, this is a necessary element in both de-personalizing a situation and giving it potential for universal application. In Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil,” many interpretations by way of psychological analysis are possible, and, once exposed, quite apparent. Once revealed, there are many routes for understanding the story in a psychoanalytical context. The main approaches this essay will take involve a “Jungian” analysis, that is, one involving the use of some of the theories and conclusions of German psychoanalyst and pioneer, Carl Gustav Jung, a former student and friend of Sigmund Freud, in interpreting the actions of the characters in the story. Jung’s discord with Fr…

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…Jung, whose assertions not only help in the clinical aspect, but in the search for the common message in all of human literary (this includes oral) tradition. Hawthorne’s Gothic shows, whether conscious or not, the underlying conflict that lies within the people of his time as well as the time in which each of his stories take place. It is with this that the key to understanding the self lies within the commonly untapped recesses of the unconscious, an uncomfortable and unnerving concept for everyone, particularly those that have many things to hide.

Works Cited

Jung, Carl Gustav. Abstracts of the Collected Works of Carl G. Jung. Rockville, Maryland. 1976.

Jung, Carl G. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. Tr. R. F. C. Hull. New York, NY. 1960

Lauter, Paul, et al. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. New York, NY; Boston, Mass. 1998

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