Download PDF by Brian Jarvis: Cruel and unusual : punishment and US culture

By Brian Jarvis

ISBN-10: 1435660803

ISBN-13: 9781435660809

From the excesses of Puritan patriarchs to the barbarism of slavery and on into the prison-industrial complicated, punishment within the US has a protracted and ugly background. within the post-Vietnam period, the legal inhabitants has elevated tenfold and the dying penalty has loved a renaissance. Few matters in modern US society galvanize as a lot controversy as punishment. during this context, merciless and strange goals to provide the 1st accomplished exploration of the heritage of punishment because it has been mediated in American tradition. Grounding his research in Marxist idea, psychoanalysis and Foucault's influential paintings on self-discipline, Brian Jarvis examines more than a few cultural texts, from 17th century execution sermons to twenty-first century felony movies, to discover the politics, economics and erotics of punishment. This wide-ranging and interdisciplinary survey constructs a family tree of cruelty via shut interpreting of novels by way of Hawthorne and Melville, fictional money owed of the Rosenberg execution via Coover and Doctorow, slave narratives and criminal writings by means of African americans and the significantly ignored style of yank criminal movies. within the technique, merciless and strange unmasks a basic clash among legends of liberty within the Land of the unfastened and the key, silenced histories of sadomasochistic hope, punishment for revenue and social regulate.

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A succession of women, whose husbands are significantly absent or silent, call for Hester’s punishment to be handed over to them with the promise of branding and execution. 56). Definitions of female virtue in the nineteenth century were formulated in accordance with the cult of True Womanhood. This hegemonic formulation, centred on the archetypal ‘Angel in the House’, was geared towards the disciplining of women, and the control, in particular, of their sexuality. 130). Hester’s daughter undergoes a similar transformation.

50 The year before Hawthorne began writing The Scarlet Letter, Grimké and her sisters helped draft the ‘Declaration of Sentiments’, issued at Seneca Falls by the first national convention of women’s groups. 51 Hutchinson’s punishment was motivated as much by her challenge to patriarchal authority as to religious orthodoxy. At her trial she was accused of ‘masculine’ behaviour: ‘You have stepped out of your place. 53 These are the opinions that Hester secretly harbours, but which increasing numbers of American women were voicing in the antebellum North.

Love, in other words, could be utilised as a disciplinary tool to enforce the child’s internalisation of parental norms. 55 The transition from visible forms of corporeal violence to the covert stratagems of surveillir was evident both in the penitentiary system and the bourgeois home. 83). Her failure to impose authority on Pearl hints at Hawthorne’s scepticism about progressive modes of domestic discipline and his nostalgia, once again, for more traditional methods. 83). 83). This may be a problem with personnel, however, rather than regimen.

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Cruel and unusual : punishment and US culture by Brian Jarvis


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