Relationship between Sex and Violence
Some studies reveal the fact that there is a close link between sexual arousal and aggression as the former will stimulate the latter. It is also notable from other studies that sex in itself is a form of aggression, depending on the attitude held by each of the parties so that in one case, men may notably consider this act as being a form of domination hence aggression. Dependently, sex tends to gain a non-violence view if it involves a warm, passionate feeling between the parties at that particular time.
Sex is destined to be normal, natural and accompanied by commitment, to make the whole act beautiful and intimate. This applies in the case of sex in normal, loving relationships. It should be entirely confidential and personal (Viano 55).
Away from the normal world with ideal conditions, considering the present, transforming world, brutality and violence have characterized the modern world and hence there is the use of aggression in order to non-honorably and illegally obtain everything including sex, an act meant to be natural and honorable. The separation between sex and violence has become so small that in the present world, whenever violence comes up, sex almost certainly follows (Bercovitch 43).
In comparison, brutal, murderous violence is not a usual, accepted part of life. People simply acknowledge as part of the expected course of living. Violence is a horrible perversion of forceful energies and drives, and is at conflict with everything attractive and spiritual in the world. It is evident from the way a certain man, Tod Hackett, while in his office, witnesses an army of cavalry passing by accompanied by an infantry even as one particular man in that community, apparently annoyed by the havoc that the army is going to cause, tries to curse as he follows them. Violence erupts at this point and thereafter, other evil activities go on including rape (Cheal 87).
In the book ‘The day of locust and miss lonely-hearts’, a vivid description of events taking place at a time just when a revolution is about to take place is given. There is a complete transformation political transformation within California when people, people looking for transformation and new start, come into the Southern part of the state of California. They are described as unrelenting, outsiders approaching at a fast pace. It is during this stampede that most evil acts in which case a certain innocent girl is sexually molested, violently by a man as “…….MCA lecturer on sex hygiene, she stopped struggling and held her head down, sobbing fitfully. When he was through, he let go of her…” (West 90).
This leads us to the conclusion that during difficult, rough times like war and overthrowing of government, there is a close relationship between sex and violence since most sex is not voluntary, warm nor passionate. The individuals participating in the ongoing changes take advantage of the situation and obtain sex by applying violence.
The writer uses a lot of satire in this book to illustrate grievous issues and condemn the same. The following extract shows how the writer ridicules the violent individuals, in this case a man named Earle who previously being apathetic had turned violent. “…the way Earle had gone from apathy to action without transition was funny. The seriousness of his violence was even funnier….” (West 111).
In another case still, both imagery and sarcasm are applied to show extend of the seriousness of the violence that was occurring at that particular time and the impending civil turmoil. Violence is compared to skimmed milk. “…milk from which it had been skimmed was just as rich in violence. The Angelenos would be first, but their comrades all over the country would follow, there would be civil war…” (West 78).
It is seen in the West book on the first pages that miss lonelyhearts receives a lot of letters each day, notably more than thirty of them. One particular letter that attracts attention is that of a young girl aged 13, who is writing on behalf of her elder sister, called Grace, aged 15. The latter happens to be both deaf and dumb and due to this, the parents do not allow her to attend school regularly in stead she is required to remain on the roof of the house each day since she is considered ‘not beautiful’ and ‘can be run over by a car’. It is on the roof one day that Grace is sexually harassed by an unknown man, hence she risks pregnancy. To add to this, the young girl writing the letter notes that she cant reveal this matter to her parents because she fears that her mother will lock the innocent dumb and deaf lady in a cupboard and beat her senseless. This reveals the increased level of violence present in the society in which case the rapist walks away unnoticed and any attempts to reveal the occurrences to concerned d parties will be met with a severe punishment from individuals who are supposed to be the protectors. In this case, it is worth noting that the relationship between sex and violence is a negative one so that the perpetrator has no warm, affectionate relationship with the victim. (West 78-111).
Conclusively as the article on Nathanael West’s Essays reveal, it can be seen that there is a close link between sex and violence as the materials above reveal. The eruption of violence tends to be a causative agent for unwarranted, forced sex, rape and murder. The connection between the two tends to be small especially in the present world characterized by brutality, violence, war and lack of order (Siegel 10).
Siegel, B Essays on Nathanael West: critique, New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1995.
West, N Miss Lonelyhearts & The day of the locust, New York: New Directions, 1972.
Bercovitch, S Novels, Poems & writings 2nd ed., New York: Willie& Sons, 2001.
Viano, E Intimate Violence, New York: Taylor & Francis, 1992.
Cheal, D Social concepts in the family: A Critical Approach, New York: Routledge, 2002.