Cannibalism in Literature and Film by Jennifer Brown

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By Jennifer Brown

From pictures of stewed missionaries to Hannibal Lecter's hiss, cannibals have intrigued whereas evoking horror and repulsion. The label of cannibal has been used all through background to denigrate a given person or team. via analyzing who's labelled cannibal at any given time, we will be able to comprehend the fears, prejudices, permitted norms and taboos of society at the moment. From the cannibal in colonial literature, to the belief of local Gothic and the hillbilly cannibal, to serial killers, this booklet examines works via writers and administrators together with Joseph Conrad, H. Rider Haggard, Thomas Harris, Bret Easton Ellis, Cormac McCarthy, Wes Craven, and Tim Burton. It explores questions of cultural id and otherness within the sleek interval, providing a major and unique exam of cultural norms and fears as regards to nationwide, fiscal, linguistic, and sexual identification. Amidst the pointy tooth and terrible urge for food of the cannibal, the ebook examines genuine fears of over-consumerism and intake that hassle an ever-growing smooth international.

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McClure argues that the fall in Conrad’s fiction is not to the level of the colonized but the fall is the product of the colonizer’s desires and ‘the license he gains by being white, owning weapons, and living beyond the borders of his own community’ (92). This, again, is a marked difference to Walton’s argument of the simpler shift of the cannibal from Other to Self. Here we see the Self as cannibal alongside the Other at the beginning of the twentieth century. Heart of Darkness exposes the disturbing possibility that the drive for colonial expansion is a project without any inherent rationale.

R. Leavis criticized Conrad for his ‘adjectival insistence’ in Heart of Darkness, arguing that his use of conflicting adjectives makes his writing mysterious and incomprehensible. M. Forster believes this use of adjectives is a way of covering up the fact that 34 Mr Cannibal I Presume? The Colonial Cannibal Conrad was gesturing towards colonial criticism, yet not quite achieving anything close to a convincing criticism: What is so elusive about him is that he is always promising to make some general philosophical statement about the universe, and then refraining in a gruff declaimer .

The side on which Crusoe lands is less favoured naturally than the other side, which has lots of fruit, goats, hares, and turtles. However, that is also the side where the cannibals are accustomed to land for their ‘inhuman feasts’. The richness is illusory; the grapes might be bad, the goats are harder to catch because of lack of cover, and there is the large wooded valley where Crusoe gets lost in a haze for days. There are suggestions of luxury, sloth, and lassitude, all features Crusoe’s religion, nationality, and class shun, and ‘the thither side of the island becomes to him, like Egypt to the Israelites on the march to Canaan, a temptation to be resisted’ (Benjamin 37).

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