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Media Violence and Adolescents

Media Violence and Adolescents

A “hot topic” of discussions today is the issue of violence in the media. After reading about the subject, I am convinced that media violence negatively affects the viewer. The most susceptible are the young.

John Grisham wrote a powerful essay called “Unnatural Killers.” Since the writing of the essay, it has caught some flak from reviewers in light of his novel A Time to Kill. In this novel, the “good guy” kills. The points he made in his essay, however, are still valid. “Unnatural Killers” tells the dramatic story of Sarah Edmondson and Benjamin Darras’s killing spree. Sarah and Ben killed one person and seriously injured another. Sarah testifies that the inspiration for this horrible act was a movie, “Natural Born Killers” (Grisham 346). Grisham describes the movie:

…a repulsive story of two mindless young lovers, Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis), who blaze their way across the Southwest, killing everything in their path while becoming famous. According to the script, they indiscriminately kill fifty-two people before they are caught. It seems like many more. Then they manage to kill at least fifty more as they escape from prison. They free themselves, have children, and are at last seen happily rambling down the highway in a Winnebago (346-347).

According to Sarah, “Ben loved ‘Natural Born Killers,’ and as they drove to Memphis he spoke openly of killing people, randomly, just like Mickey spoke to Mallory” (Grisham 347). Clearly, if Sarah’s testimony is true, the movie had a deep and negative impact on Ben Darras. “Natural Born Killers” has inspired many other copycat acts. A 14-year old boy in Texas told police…

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…ce is a harmful problem. When are Hollywood and video-game makers going to catch on?

Works Cited

Center for Media Literacy. “Violence in the Media.” URL (5 Dec. 1999).

Grisham, John. “Unnatural Killers.” Kirszner and Mandell 343-351.

Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell, ed. The Blair Reader. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.

Leonard, John. “Why Blame TV?” Kirszner and Mandell 351-356.

Levine, Madeline. “Media and the Adolescent.” Kirszner and Mandell 357-364.

Malcolm, Teresa. “Teen Violence: Does Violent Media Make Violent Kids?” National Catholic Reporter 28 May 1999: 14-15.

Roper Center at University of Connecticut. Poll. Accession number 0327641. Question number 001. 19 May 1999.

The Freedom Forum Online. “Oliver Stone and Natural Born Killers.”URL (5 Dec. 1999).

Canterbury Tales Essay – The Assertive and Vulnerable Wife of Bath

The Assertive and Vulnerable Wife of Bath

Society was different in Chaucer’s time; males dominated and women were suppressed. The manipulative and destructive nature of women was emphasized by men. Much like Eve in the Bible, women were blamed for the ‘downfall of man’. Through the Wife of Bath, Chaucer investigates the difficulty of self-realization for a woman in this restrictive environment. The wife of bath, Alison, represents antifeminist stereotypes and searches for happiness and a place in a patriarchal society. Unfortunately, Alison is never in tune with who she really is as a woman. Chaucer uses a series of ironies to eventually show that under her seemingly confident guise, there hides the soul of a vulnerable, lost woman.

The Wife of Bath argues in favor of women. She disparages the works of the male scholars that denigrate women. Using her “savage lion” analogy, she reasons that “if women had but written the stories”, then such negative portrayals would not exist. Therefore, at first, the Wife of Bath appears to be in favor of women’s rights. Ironically, the Wife of bath does not help women, her actions coinciding with the scholars’ accusations. Alison DOES dress gaily, with her stockings of “fine scarlet red”. The color red is indicative of a quarrelsome, bold lady, as is the symbol of the gap in her teeth, to indicate licentiousness. When she goes “walking out by night”, and “followed on my appetite, Whether the lad was short, long, black, or white.”(275), the Wife does prove to be adulterous. In relationships with her husbands, the wife IS devious and deceitful, making up accusations to pre-empt any on the part of the husbands. Therefore, while on one level attempting to protest the “negative s…

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…son into obedience, and has been the partner who dominates and controls all along. Her efforts to find true happiness are futile, and she lives a lie.

The Wife of Bath is admirable in that she is assertive and has attempted to succeed in her life. Despite being a woman of the fourteenth century, her ideas, beliefs, and actions are more like a woman of the twenty-first century. She is truly a woman ahead of her time. Unfortunately, her restrictive environment prevented her from self-realization. Therefore, she fails to effectively cope with and change her situation. The wife of bath is a sad, lost woman, who used the wrong methods to find true love and happiness. Hiding behind a confident mask, this woman is never truly free.

Works Cited:

Chaucer, Geoffrey.“The Wife of Bath’s Tale.” The Canterbury Tales.Trans. Nevill Coghill. New York: Penguin, 1977.

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