violencetheory - Carly Neubauer WMS 351 Jody Lisberger...

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Carly Neubauer WMS 351 Jody Lisberger Writing Assignment 3 Is violence an inherent behavior in humans, or is violence a product of the environment? A question of this sort challenges the thinker to place the cause of violence in either the nature or nuture category, but, is defining roots of violent behavior that simple? Richard Wright, an American journalist and Princeton graduate who specializes in evolutionary psychology and game theory, does not seem to think so. In his essay, “The Biology of Violence,” published in an issue of the New Yorker in March of 1995, Wright presents two different approaches to the causes of violent behavior in humans: the expression of violent behavior indicated by biological makeup versus the idea of solely environmental factors determining the expression of violence. He takes these two ideas and combines them, arguing “even though the causes of violence are broadly environmental. .. they are nonetheless biological, because environmental forces are mediated biologically (Wright, 293)…” A closer look into Wright’s argument can be examined in the story “Battle Royal,” written by American writer Ralph Ellison, and helps us understand where violence derives itself. “Battle Royal” is a story that provokes graphic thought on the struggles within the African community, from the era of slave owners until present day, to fight for status and recognition. Ellison uses symbolism to illustrate the challenges that society had thrown at the black community as obstacles to success and a fight to prove status. In the story, Ellison places the protagonist as the narrator of his quest to find morality behind success of the African American. He was viewed in society as an advocator of conforming to the roll as the submissive black man who uses humility to gain approval from white society,
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a lifestyle his grandfather begged his family to live by before he died. White elitists in the protagonist’s community applaud him for advocating the role
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violencetheory - Carly Neubauer WMS 351 Jody Lisberger...

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