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English Seminar-Fifth Business

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Tamara Blagojevic

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of English Seminar-Fifth Business

Fifth Business Presentation The Concept of Guilt

"The state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously." Webster’s College Dictionary guilt definition: The Dictionary of the Psychology defines guilt as "An emotional state produced by the knowledge that one has violated moral standards. Most authorities recognized an emotional state as guilt only when the individual has internalized the moral standards of the society; thus it is distinguished from simple fear of punishment from external source—guilt is in a sense a self-administered punishment." How do you think the idea that guilt is a "self administered punishment" relates to Dunny and Boy? -guilt stays with you forever if not confronted
-not an easy emotion to overcome
-tries to make up for the snowball accident by visiting the Dempsters home almost everyday
-doesn't feel free until he takes ownership for his actions

Quotes
- “I was contrite and guilty, for I knew the snowball had been meant for me, but the Dempsters did not seem to think that”

- “So I was alone with my guilt, and it tortured me” What does Dunny learn about guilt? What is the role of guilt in regards to other characters?
“Why did I not find some other girl? Diana, Headmaster, Diana. I often yearned for her, but never to the point where I wrote to ask if we may reconsider”- pg.108 “Dunny, Leola and I have a secret to tell you--not that it will be secret long, of course-- but we want you to be the first to hear--outside our families, of course, but we’re engaged”- pg.93 “ . . . as I had brought about this great change in Mrs. Dempster’s condition by my own stupidity I felt much depressed by it”-pg.223 “But I did go once, driven by guilt, and though I did not see her, her window was pointed out to me”- pg.223 “I was contrite and guilty, for I knew that the snowball had been meant for me”- pg. 5 "I was perfectly sure, you see, that the birth of Paul Dempster, so small and troublesome, was my fault”- pg. 16 “I begged her—and secondarily God—to forgive me, knowing full well that I was unworthy of such clemency”- pg. 30 Why does guilt influence human behavior? How do the characters in Fifth Business demonstrate this influence? -influence of guilt seen through Freud’s Defense Mechanisms
-6 defense mechanisms:
-regression; revering to previous patterns of behavior

-projection; blame it on someone else

-displacement; taking out your anger on someone0

-repression; trying to forget or block an experience

-reaction formation; covering something up acting the opposite of a trait you do not like

-fantasy; creating a reality where the problems do not exist -can cause a lot of anxiety
Ex. Dunny “. . . so I was alone with my guilt, and it tortured me.”


-Dunny also shows defense mechanism known as conversion: transfering a mental conflict to a physical problem
-being afraid to go to sleep
-mental anguish of guilt=physical problem of insomnia. -Percy shows defense mechanism, denial
Ex. “And it’s what you’d better think too, if you know what’s good for you.” -Paul shows another defense mechanism, rationalization for leaving his mother as well as saying that it is pointless for Dunny to tell her about him
Ex. “…I do not see what good it would do to tell her about me.” -Guilt has consequences if held on to forever
-in novel it causes Boy to be killed, Paul to be that killer, Dunny has troubles maintaining relationships with the opposite sex How has the role of guilt changed in today's post-modern society? -Psychologists say that people who are guiltless can be known as psychopaths
-psychologist and university professor Jane Bybee


-Ex. Serial killer Ted Bundy, said he felt no guilt after killing 28 people.

“In any society there are rules laid down for every individual to follow. In addition to these cultural rules, religions impose exacting rules upon societies. . . Whether societies exist in the primitive settings of Africa, the rain forests of South America, or the advanced societies of Europe, Japan, or the United States, all cultures have laws.” -Dr. Lee E. Warren, B.A., D.D.

-Can occur if a person has not met the standards of society (for example, not confessing to the snowball in 5th Business) How do you think religion influences a person's perception of guilt? Do you think religion has become a stronger or weaker influence in society today? -law and societal expectations shape our idea of right and wrong therefore what makes us feel guilty

Ex. It is wrong to steal or cheat on your significant othe.r Culture and Religion -people can start to develop feelings of guilt at age 3
-this is when they start to understand the impact of their actions on other people "Research shows kids who have a little guilt are better citizens. 'They're getting better grades in school, engaging in more volunteer work, they're less prone to racist attitudes,' Bybee said." -John Stossel Psychologists say guilt is useful, because it gets people to regret the wrong they do, and correct it.
-John Stossel Do you think guilt is a positive or negative factor in human nature? Why? Conclusion -Guilt is a prominent factor of society today -Also plays a main role in the novel Fifth Business -Largely impacts Dunny and Boy
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