Violence in Stories

It is not an unknown fact that the world we live in today is full of violence. The age being exposed to such things have gotten younger and younger as well. So the question has been asked, in regards to media, do we need violence in stories? Warren Ellis in his article Blood in Your Eye: Why we need Violence in Stories, argues very well by saying, “Now more than ever, violent fiction is essential for helping us understand real-world horrors and de-fang society’s monsters.” I think this sums it up very well. If we keep ourselves in a little protective bubble, we are depriving ourselves and our children from knowing and understanding the real world. War exists. Death exists. So many other ugly and horrible things happen in the world and pretending that it isn’t there, doesn’t make it go away. 

I saw the movie Kick-Ass 2, and now knowing that Jim Carrey is now refusing to promote the film because of the amount of violence is utterly ridiculous. I can understand people’s unwillingness to not bring violence media into their lives, especially because of all the school shootings. But Carrey had a unique opportunity to speak out against violence and helping children to understand it, and he instead chose to ignore it. He turned the violence into the “Other”. Ellis explains, “They are Other, and they didn’t come from us, and we’re just going to stand over there and shake our heads sadly.” I love this quote because it paints quite an accurate picture of how people generally prefer to keep unpleasant things away from them, and because of that, it is as if it doesn’t even happen.

When we have violence in movies or books or games, the purpose isn’t to promote. People generally do like to use them as an excuse because by doing that, they have successfully taken any blame away from them or their society. I believe our school shooters or serial killers etc are created with a mixture and nature and nurture, not by being exposed to violence. Some people have a certain deficiency in a neurotransmitter and others may be continuing a cycle of abuse that they were raised in. Or both. “We learn about things by looking at them and then talking about them, together…to lock violent fiction away, or to close our eyes to it, is to give our monsters and our fears undeserved power and richer hunting grounds.” Well said, Ellis.

Ellis, Warren. “Blood in Your Eye: Why we Need Violent Stories.” Vulture. New York Media, 14 August 2013. Web. 3 October 2013.


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