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Direct, structural and cultural violence

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The discussion of direct violence, structural violence and cultural violence in this chapter is relatively straightforward, focusing on the direct violence of the killings, the structural violence of the Nazi occupation and the restrictions placed on the farmer and the cultural violence in Landa’s descriptions of Jews as “vermin” (linking them to the Bubonic Plague), along with the symbols that support his role as a killer, like the skull and crossbones insignia on his hat.

This chapter also shows us the extent to which the farmer, who in the end gives up the family he is hiding, is an actor with free will. This can be seen in two instances, one where the farmer decides to sit after Landa’s statement, “Please join me at your table”., and the other when he asks Landa whether he could smoke his pipe.

The question that arises now is whether the level of cultural and structural violence in the chapter rules out the possibility of cooperation and assistance from the part of the farmer.

Moving on, another question that arises is how the farmer perceived Landa’s threats, which initially started out as quite restrained (commenting on the dairy farm, the farmer’s milk, and his family) but progressed to far more overt.

Coming back to the concept of Galtung’s Violence Triangle, the question arises of how we should categorize the various threats in this particular chapter.

Are they direct violence (since the threatened violence clearly is), structural violence (since they close possible actions on the part of the farmer), or cultural violence (since they are explicitly communicated)?

In my opinion, there is no correct answer to this question, as it is evidently clear to us that all the three types of violence – direct, cultural and structural are intertwined within each other, thereby further exemplifying Galtung’s theory of the relationship between the types of violence.

The scene is clearly written and directed to push our sympathies to the farmer. Looking at the embedded cultural violence against the Jews by the anti-semitic views of Hitler and the Nazis, we see the way Landa conceptualizes his work of hunting and killing Jews as “work”, in the business sense, with ledgers, as well as the way he describes this as a “job” he was “ordered to carry out”. He carries this further, discussing the “enterprise” that is now under “new management”.

The embedded cultural violence presented in this scene can be looked at in another way. The chapter begins by showing us a large, well-built man, sweating profusely, with an axe in his hand i.e. the farmer, Monsieur LaPadite. Landa is introduced to us as a small but a sharp and precise man. Since the two men are alone in the house, threatening such a large and aggressive man could have gone wrong for Landa, but instead LaPadite, despite being threatened in an indirect manner goes on to give up the family he’s protecting rather than kill Landa and be done with it. This clearly indicates the position and fear that Landa holds and commands as “THE JEW HUNTER”.

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"Direct, structural and cultural violence." GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/direct-structural-and-cultural-violence/. Accessed 9 April 2020.
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GradesFixer. Direct, structural and cultural violence. [Internet]. January 2019. [Accessed April 9, 2020]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/direct-structural-and-cultural-violence/
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