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The Gypsies And Their Journey - Essay Example

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The Gypsies And Their Journey

It constitutes the greatest impediment to civilization [sic]" (81). The treatment of the Gypsies in Europe is paradigmatic of the deleterious effects on civilization as a result of this instinctual disposition toward violence and aggression. There has been a paucity of recognition regarding the plight of the Gypsies, even after the Holocaust, when Hitler and his Nazi minions were responsible for the destruction of 1.5 million Gypsies (Wallia). The forgetting and abnegation of this tragedy in stark contrast to the attention given to the then concurrent predicament of the Jews have allowed for a continued and nearly unchecked level of violence against Gypsies. One work that has attempted to uncover the current attitudes and treatment of the Gypsies in Europe is Isabel Fonseca's Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and their Journey. This paper will briefly examine how Freud's thesis regarding aggression is exemplified by Fonseca's presentation of Gypsies in Europe. In a chapter entitled "A Social Problem," Fonseca examines the nature of conflicts and the uneasy existence between Romanians and Gypsies. She begins to note, however, interesting and oddly similar social phenomena occurring in both cultures, namely, getting swindled. Fonseca surmises, "But in truth swindling was so common in Romania that it was remarkable that the Gypsies, or anyone else, had managed to gain a reputation for dishonesty" (158). The subtle differences between Gypsy-swindles and Romanian ones are emblematic of the type of conditions that are sufficient for engendering racial hatred and conflict. In situations where adjoining territories or in this case, plots of land, are populated by different communities with some other similarities besides geographical, constant feuding, ridicule and violence are easily promulgated by what Freud terms, "the narcissism of minor differences" (72). ...Show more

Summary

This essay “The Gypsies And Their Journey” investigates how Freud's thesis regarding aggression is exemplified by Fonseca's presentation of Gypsies in Europe. The problem of gypsies presents an almost unique set of ethical and political challenges for Europe…
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