Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Michael Ondaatjes The Collected Works of Billy the Kid Essay -- Colle
The Perception of Violence in Michael Ondaatjes The Collected Works of Billy the Kid A question that arises in almost every medium of art, be it music, film or literature, is whether or non the depiction of violence is merely gratuitous or whether it is a legitimate artistic expression. thither can be no doubt that Michael Ondaatjes long poem The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is a violent work, but certain factors should be kept in mind before passing it off as an attempt to shock and titillate certainly, the poem does both of these, but they argon not the primary purpose of the work. For one thing, social context needs to be considered Billy lived in the Wild West, a time associated with range wars, shoot-outs and swell train robberies. The entire legend of Billy the Kid has been built around his criminal activities and notorious reputation indeed, the more popular this myth becomes, the more deal he is accused of having murdered. If anything, it was a cultural fascination wit h violence that created the legend, perhaps even more so than anything the real Billy ever did. Michael Ondaatje comments on this phenomenon and very offers an alternative vision of who Billy the Kid was perhaps he was not just a blood-thirsty killer but a man who, due to scope and human nature, was continually being pushed over the edge. Ondaatje is more concerned with the motivations behind the acts of violence than the acts of violence themselves A motive? some reasoning we can move on to explain all this violence. Was there a source for all this? yup - (54). If they shock, it is to shock the readers out of complicity and encourage them to think about the nature of violence and their own content for it. Though it is more ... ...nstitutes a fit subject for poetry. If love is deemed suitable, should the expression of violence be any less so? Both are vox of the human experience indeed, it is hard to imagine one existing without the other. As Billy says, I am here with the ra nge for everything (72), a range which includes detainment that need the rub of metal/ those senses that/ that want to crash things with an axe (72). Michael Ondaatje gives us this range and then leaves it up to us to define our own edge what are we capable of?.... What is our potential? Works Cited and ConsultedMundwiler, Leslie. Michael Ondaatje Word, Image, Imagination. Vancouver Talonbooks, 1984. Ondaatje, Michael. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. Toronto Anansi, 1970. Solecki, Sam. Introduction. Spider Blues Essays on Michael Ondaatje. Ed. Sam Solecki. Montral Vhicule, 1985. 7-11.
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