Humor and Violence in U.S. Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

..There is reason for concern, therefore, when aggressive acts are presented in a humorous context in the media" (622).

Although it is intended to refer to society and its misdemeanor, satire cannot be considered to be offensive, since there is a small probability that it will produce any resentment in people. A good example of the American society giving birth to something that is funny and enjoyable, despite its satirical character, is Charlie Chaplin. In times when movies were something new to the American public, the English actor succeeded in making it addicted to him and to his movies. His merit is also largely owed to the scriptwriters and to the movie directors that invested hard work in making the respective movies. Even with his obvious success among the American public, there still are a number of critics believing that the characters played by Charlie Chaplin had been too vulgar for the period.

Satirical movies did not only go at condemning society in general, as movies have gone against great leaders, with no regard to the effects that they will have. The Great Dictator (1940) is but an example of Chaplin's movies criticizing an entire regime. While the U.S. government had been reluctant when concerning their entering the war, The Great Dictator (1940) had a strong influence on destabilizing the balance between Nazi Germany and the U.S., which were then at peace.

Humor seems to be more appealing when it is used in movies than when it is used in books and articles. This is believed to be occurring because of the fact that the ordinary man finds satire and parodies to be more amusing than the normally harder to understand humor found in books and articles. Society's problems are the issues by and large being presented by humorists, and, in spite of the fact that a lot of people are not interested in analyzing the respective problems, they can't help letting out a smile when they come across such writings. There is a biological basis to this as well. According to Robert Storey "Theorist Paul E. McGhee points out that data from the limited number of humor studies completed with individuals with right- or left-hemisphere damage are consistent with the view that it is the right hemisphere that performs the insightful integration of the key elements of information that must be meaningfully linked before the humor can be understood and appreciated" (425)

While humor is considered to be pleasurable due to the feelings that it triggers, it is a mystery why violence is also enjoyed by people. It might be because of the fact that it scares them so much in the real life. When concerning violence and the U.S., any amateur moviegoer will most probably relate to American Psycho. The movie's story involves an accomplished young American murdering people randomly, with no regard to the effect that his actions have on society. Consequent to watching such movies, the audience returns home, where they presumably live safely ever after. However, what is disturbing is that a number of people are influenced by films that involve killing. It often happens that people attempt to replicate what they see in movies, identifying themselves with the killers. In addition to movies, books have also been recognized as having turned people into psychotic killers. In addition, the fact that movies have a much wider public makes it easier for people to be manipulated by them.

Combining violence and humor in…

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