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Certain readings discuss different representations of the human body, including a physical nuisance, a convenient place for criminals to inscribe symbols and words, and as a means for partaking in analytical and narcotic pleasure. The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze and compare the ways in which the human body is represented in Junky, by William Burroughs; Animal Factory, by Edward Bunker; You Got Nothing Coming: Notes of a Prison Fish, by Jimmy Lerner; Go Now, by Richard Hell; Permanent Midnight, by Jerry Stahl; Memoirs of a Tattooist, by G…
The content and style of this particular novel distinguish it from the others in the reader's memory. The overall tone is dry and distant, but the story itself is revealing and quite honest. Burroughs speaks as the observing eyewitness to the story, which refers to various criminals he has met throughout New York, Kentucky, New Orleans, and Mexico City, and his feelings and reactions to those individuals.
One of the main goals of the work appears to be to dispel stereotypes that are often associated with criminals and how they treat their own bodies or how they appear to other individuals. Through showing the results of interacting with a vast array of individuals, Burroughs shows that the commonly-held view of the tattooed criminal is not always accurate. Clearly, most people would consider the criminals that Burroughs interviews degenerates, but he attempts to unravel this viewpoint throughout the context of this work. Even though the opinions and insight presented in the text are not supported by expert testimony, when believed they are quite convincing and definitely contribute to the overall interestingness of the novel.
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