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A Pit of Socially Acceptable Violence - Essay Example

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A Pit of Socially Acceptable Violence

The description of how a friendly, fun loving crowd can so quickly turn into a monstrous, violent filled mob makes it easy to side with Freud's belief that violence is inherent in everyone by nature.
Freud says, "Men are not gentle, friendly creatures wishing for love." According to Freud's classification, the concert goers in the audience were not out to experience "Community" and to be "Spiritually joined to the 50,000 others by their sides" as Tough first describes them to be. Instead, Freud would classify them as humans who are oblivious to the natural instincts they posses for violence and the enjoyment of it. He believes that man's natural instinct for violence can be triggered in situations where they can take advantage of others without blame. In the case of the mosh pit, the pushing and shoving of a few, quickly turns the entire crowd violent and they fight against one another to keep their place and remain standing. While Tough seems to think that the reason for the mosh pit is to bond with others and to feel connected to each other through a collected frenzy of pushing and shoving, Freud believed that this is just the kind of situation that makes it acceptable for people to inflict violence on one another.
It is easy to see when comparing the description of the concert goers in "Into the Pit" t...
o think that things are out of control, that whatever sense of civility this crowd might have had has evaporated." Tough seems puzzled at the change in the crowd and wonders how hurting one another results in a feeling of community that most concert goers agree is the main reason for a mosh pit. In most cases a sense of community would not be felt as a result from someone pushing another until they fell on the floor, wondering if they will be trampled to death. Tough seems to question why all of a sudden such aggressive violence is acceptable and even praised.

"Into the Pit" perfectly defines Freud's belief that "Aggressive cruelty usually lies in wait for some provocation." Tough describes the violence in the pit as behavior that is not only accepted , but praised by the crowd because they seem to all be partaking it whether they have chosen to or not. The pushing and shoving causes the entire crowd to sway back and fourth, as people unintentionally knock one another over. In any other circumstance, people would not throw themselves violently into a crowd of people without expecting or intending to hurt them. When this happens in the mosh pit, it is described as something that is to be rewarded. Even though Tough described his "Hair pasted to my head; my shirt soaked; my jeans are so clammy I can barley bend my legs," he never once thinks to blame the violent crowd. Tough's description elevates this violence into an amazing act of heroism when he says," I grunt and throw him back over my shoulder, then twist and watch as he goes air born, spreading his arms out into wings." By describing the concert goers arms as "wings" Tough gives this violent act an almost fantasy like description; never mind the countless people he smashes and hits with his outstretched arms. ...Show more

Summary

For some time now, the pit has drawn me," says Paul Tough in his short story, "Into the Pit" as he describes his fascination with a mosh pit, a fascination that Sigmund Freud would believe to be mankind's natural instinct for violence. The story goes on to describe Tough's experience at a concert and his quest to experience the infamous "mosh pit" that the youth of his generation seem to be so obsessed with…
Author : sharon53
A Pit of Socially Acceptable Violence essay example
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