Villainy in Western Culture: Historical Archetypes of Danger, Disorder and Death By M. Gregory Kendrick
2016 | 272 Pages | ISBN: 0786498684 | PDF | 2 MB
Every human society has a lineup of base, wicked, unethical characters-real and fictional-that are regarded as villainous. This book explores how western societies have used those they label villains to delineate insiders from outsiders; political, social, economic, and cultural behaviors deemed a threat to the order, harmony, and well-being of society itself; and normal as opposed to abnormal psychological behavior. Part One addresses how nature and those identified as ""barbarians"" were villainized as sinister ""others"" bent on destroying humanity and western civilization. Part Two considers how certain villainous types-tyrants, traitors, and tramps (aka ""femme fatales"")-challenged and reinforced western thinking with regard to legitimate governance, loyalty to one's people, and proper male/female roles and relationships. Part Three looks at how sociopathic gangsters and grifters and psychopathic murderers have served as models of evil and/or unprincipled behavior, and, in so doing, highlighted what we regard as moral and rightful conduct. In tandem with these villainous types, this study also considers two distinct though related phenomena, the dramatic shrinking of what is now considered villainous in the West, and the proliferation of all manner of odd and over-the-top villains in western pop culture and mass media.
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