Saturday, September 8, 2018

Does violence in books and television dehumanize us? πŸ”ͺ

We often see people dehumanizing each other on television (sadly, we don't have to look past the news for this one...) and it's unfortunate that it has become the 'norm' in our society. I'm pretty conscious of this kind of behavior and for that reason, it has become a huge part of my books...but should it be?

As a writer, I've always felt that what I put on paper (or on a laptop screen, I should say) tends to reflect what I'm viewing in the real world. The situations might be different, however, the general feeling or sense that I'm getting from life always creeps into my writing. Therefore, it makes sense that violence has become the new 'norm' for my books.  Sadly, the reality of violence in our society has become more prevalent....or has it?

Well, yes and no. The thing is that the world has always been a violent place and depending on where you grew up in, it might've been just outside your door or worse still, inside your home. In fact, if you grew up in a place that wasn't violent, you should consider yourself pretty lucky because there are many people in the world who can't say the same.

I've had it pointed out to me that displaying such brutal violence in my books could potentially dehumanize people to the reader. When we are no longer seen as real, living, breathing people but disposable to some of the more sensitive viewers, it could cause them to devalue human life. This tends to be one of the explanations for things such as school and mass shootings. When you're used to viewing someone being shot on television, reading about it in a book or even 'being' the shooter in a video game, some will walk away with a complete disconnect from reality.

To be honest, I do understand the concern but I also believe there are other factors that play into these situations. Few things in life are black and white and as with many other topics, I think there are a lot of grey areas to consider. Anyone who takes something that is meant to be for entertainment purposes and turns it into a reason or an excuse to brutalize others probably already have some issues.

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