As a species, we are inherently violent. We had to, in order to survive. When we’re confronted with that part of ourselves, we usually deny it. Turn our backs to it. Perhaps it’d be a more fruitful thing to look at violence in the eye, therefore confronting the most basic aspects of ourselves, in order to both analyze it and understand it.
We deny violence to the extreme of distancing ourselves from it as we possibly can. In his article “Blood In Your Eye: Why we need Violent Stories,” Warren Ellis states that “we make them (people who commit violent crimes) Other, and we just distance ourselves.” We know the devastating effects violence has in society but alienating ourselves from it and looking at it from an outsider’s point of view doesn’t really help to solve the problem. By depicting violence in fiction we put right in the open for everyone to see what many do not want to see. Sometimes you can even get and insight on violence by portraying it in fiction. As Warren states it “Fiction, like any other form of art, is there to consider aspects of the real world in the ways that simple objective views can’t — from the inside.” In a sense, hypothetically having the point of view of the violent might shed a light on a myriad of aspects to it. It certainly won’t solve the problem but it will help get a clearer perspective of it. It certainly become much more difficult to make a violent criminal the Other when you get to see the world from their point of view.
Violence is witnessed on a daily basis on our newscasts and our newspapers and it is acceptable under those premises. Furthermore, we’re forced to face it under those circumstances in the name of freedom of expression. Or how Ellis puts it: “difficult topics must be engaged with, and in the way that fiction invites us to engage but numbing news-porn deliberately does not, because news wants us only to witness and have our buttons pushed…”
We’re able to understand things when we’re able to speak frankly about it. Violence takes us to our most basic core. We’re not usually very keen on digging deep into that part of us. But as Ellis very well states it, in order to lessen the powers of that monster, you need to be able to speak about it honestly.
Alejandro R. Marino
Ellis, Warren. “Blood In Your Eye: Why We Need Violent Stories.” Vulture. New York Media, 14 August 2013. Web. 3 October 2013.