Insanity and Criminality in Literature

Masters
Book Report/Review
Miscellaneous
Pages 11 (2761 words)
Download 0
The nineteenth century was a period of socio-political turmoil. Technological advances, rapid cultural changes and the evolution of alternate worldviews all combined to inspire a reconsideration of the human condition and man's status in the world and vis-vis others…

Introduction

. . are seen as contestable, but those of science as inconvertible" (6). In earlier times the reverse was true: religion was inconvertible and science was contestable. Although the shift that granted science technical status as "the accurate reading of Nature's book with eyes undistorted by social interest or cultural prejudice'" occurred over a long period of time (Wright and Treacher 4), in the narrow context of insanity and culpability the shift from moral conceptions of insanity to physiological conceptions of insanity occurred during the nineteenth century when voluntarist discourse, with its assumptions of free will, individual responsibility, and self-discipline, conflicted with determinist/fatalist discourse, with its assumption of inevitability and the inescapability of predetermined fate.
The conflict between these different worldviews led to confusion regarding normal versus abnormal human behaviour and, indeed, to debate over sanity versus insanity. The question became whether humans freely chose their path and was their path imposed upon them. Needless to say, the implication here was that man's status in the universe and his role in his society/world were all questioned. ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related papers

Social Problems Perspective vs. Social Responsibility Perspective in regards to Criminality
Various theories have been put forward which attempt to explain the causes of crime. Before the 19th century the prevailing view of criminality was the social responsibility perspective, however in the early 19th century a new perspective - the social problems perspective was advocated, which has grown in influence ever since.…
African literature
The recent boom in the publishing of contemporary African literature, which has occurred side by side with the developments in the study of oral literature in Africa and the world at large, has been instrumental in the analysis of the relationship between oral African poetry and written African poetry. As Isidore Okpewho maintains, "researches into African oral poetry and literature in general…
Insanity Defense
Following a brief comparative definition and discussion of each, this essay will argue in favour of ALI as the better of the three models.…
Literature
Lucian John Robert Lee, whose poetry has always evinced great flexibility of subject, register and style, has been moving conspicuously towards an increasingly uncompromising lyricism of personal Christian confession and ritualised testimony." (Scott, 238) In a reflective exploration of the poem "Vocation", it becomes lucid that John Robert Lee's poetry demonstrates great flexibility of subject,…
World Literature
Set in Corinth in Greece, the whole play is enacted in a single scene in front of Medea's house. The nurse and chorus act as conscious-keepers of Medea and the attenders and messengers are employed by the playwright to depict scene shifts through their speech. In fact, the very opening of the play sets the tone of the horrific nature of events to follow. With a voice of doom of one of the nurses…
Caribbean Literature
These woman writers were born in the late 1940s and 1950s and they produced their first major works in the 1980s. "The term 'Caribbean women writers' describes an extremely diverse collection of women: women of numerous racial and ethnic groups who reside in many nations and write in at least four European languages and many Caribbean Creoles." (Rody, 117) Significantly, the most acclaimed woman…
Insanity and Criminality in Literature
. . are seen as contestable, but those of science as inconvertible" (6). In earlier times the reverse was true: religion was inconvertible and science was contestable. Although the shift that granted science technical status as "the accurate reading of Nature's book with eyes undistorted by social interest or cultural prejudice'" occurred over a long period of time (Wright and Treacher 4), in the…