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Thief's Journal - Essay Example

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Doing so, Genet has indeed succeeded in presenting to the target audience a deprived, degrading, shameless, and unethical antithesis to a world harping on moral values and restraint. Genet celebrates the privilege of a convict to inhabit a forbidden universe which only he or others like him are allowed to inhabit, where one can conveniently deny and ignore the constraints of conventional morality, by paying the price for it. Yet the seemingly ridiculous thing is that this forbidden world of the con-artists, thieves and deviants does have its own array of heroes, role models and code of ethics. This in a way makes the scope for a parallel world, which though being a filthy shadow of the real world dominated by bourgeois values, has its own ideals to be diligently pursued, records to be matched or shattered and ethics to be adhered to. However, even a careful perusal of The Thief’s Journal nudges a discriminating reader to question as to the need for this parallel or perhaps an alternate world. Perhaps this parallel world is a well planned construct of an essentially bourgeois society to create a scope for the existence of life styles and values that are either an aberration to its norms and beliefs about the concepts of sexuality, property, conduct and order. Perhaps the society deliberately wants an individual affiliated to even one of these marked or labeled aberrations, say homosexuality, lack of respect for the institution of personal property, a meditated urge to contradict or oppose church dogmas or a talent for making a living through deception to wholeheartedly subscribe to the remaining list because this bourgeois society with its bourgeois values simply could not carve out enough temporal or mental space to accommodate such a talent pool with its individual nuances and specificities. The irony is that irrespective of the best intentions of the bourgeois society, the so called deviants are more than willing to inhabit this parallel world, not only because it offers them a space for existence within the larger scope of the overall society, with a freedom to sanctify it with elaborate rituals and ideals, but also a liberty to assert their existence, beliefs and morals, that gets accentuated and highlighted like a sturdy and rusty nail on a whitewashed wall (Hammer 165). So, in a way, irrespective of the methodical and systematic attempts of the bourgeois society to sideline these so called deviants, it ends up doing the opposite that is to recognize and validate their existence through this moral segregation and physical incarceration. The very urge of the dominant social order to treat these deviants as different in a way recognizes, validates and perhaps sadistically celebrates their different identity. In that context, Genet does mention that submission of the deviants do plays a special role in this social recognition (Genet 150). The deviants well know that to resist will not only give an excuse to the society to be open and obvious with its ruthless and callous side, but by doing so they will also end up doing what the society wants them to do. In contrast the deviants opt for the smarter option to be submissive to the social norms, thereby putting the onus on the society to keep up with its obvious sophisticated, liberal ...Show more
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The Thief’s Journal The interesting things is that Genet’s The Thief’s Journal deals with the experiences and instances of homosexual love affairs of the anti-hero with an assortment of convicts, anti-social elements, criminals and con artists. Genet persistently elaborates on the so called murky side of the set social order where the inversions of the coveted ideals say betrayal, delinquency an incarnation in a way impart meaning to the bulwarks of social order like law, prisons and justice…
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