Monthly Archives: September 2013

Hannibal and Hester

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So I’m pretty sure I read that right…they killed her by feeding her her own…excrements? Did they plan to kill her that slowly that way or did it just end up happening before they got to go through with their plan? Also, I talked to my friend about this, and he brought up a good reference. His exact words were, “Better than having to eat your own sister.” Hannibal Lecter!
I was confused when they said their punishment was to be “burnt in the hand,” so I looked it up, like I’ve been advised. It was just a branding of the letter of their crime on their hand. It’s strange to think, if Hester Pryne had been a man, would she have been burnt as well, or was it just the time change? Although we have been saying things got more peaceful, for the body at least rather than the soul, over time.

And then I stole two bucks

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In the American Bloody Register I just really liked how it was basically just lists of all the crimes…even though every time it was mostly just “and then i stole four bucks,” “and then i stole two bucks.” But when he was talking about how he would take people’s purses and take the money out and then say he found their lost purse, he would take the reward as well. It reminded me of Emma Stone in Zombieland when she would pretend to lose her wedding ring at the gas stations…just me?

I love the exclamation point at the end of Jesse Strang’s story. Hooray, she got away with murder! Also it seemed the wife was just using Strang to kill her husband…if that’s so, what was her actual motive towards killing him? The other, Swearingen’s story, had an amazing ending sentence.

Walk the Plank

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The first was my favourite of all the Pillars of Salt stories we’ve read so far. I loved the pirates, the beginning of the story reminded me of Peter Pan…and i guess more logically, Pirates of the Caribbean. I loved the quote (that follows the same pattern that I’ve mentioned, of the criminal atoning for his sins via non-religious preaching), “he would advise the Masters of Vessels to carry it well to their Men, lest they should be put upon doing as he had done.” But my favourite quote (which does exactly the opposite of the usual pattern by showing that the criminal was fearful of death rather than accepting of it), “But it was observed and is affirm’d, by some Spectators, that in the Midst of all his affected Bravery, a very sensible Trembling attended him; His hands and his Knees were plainly seen to Tremble. – And so we must leave him for the Judgement to come.”

Also wow, rude, Thomas Powers, blaming that one chick for all your crimes and misdeeds. Shame on you.

Not to Fifty!

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In chapter one, there were some disgusting visuals created. The imagery of the executions and torturing was extremely vivid and detailed. If I had eaten more than mac and cheese and a Twinkie today, I probably would’ve thrown it all up. Other than that, I thought the point about how damaging the soul is more effective than physical torture and pain because harming the soul is more permanent and torturous because they have to live with themselves and their wretched guilt rather than feel the pain and just die off. Also how it’s noted that there is a limit for how far to push the body, but you can always push the soul further.

In the second chapter, I thought it was interesting to think about the ideas of laws shifting from church to state; priests to cops. Even the types of crimes that are punishable evolved with the law, and their means of punishment.

This also brings up the question: the worse the crime committed, the more torture deserved?

It also brings up a necessary clip because torture. I hope everyone’s read The Princess Bride…if you’ve only seen the movie, you’re missing out.

In the Levi Ames story, I think my favourite part was where he admits to stealing $20-$30 from some guy whose name he forgot. What an asshole. I love how in all the Pillars of Salt stories, at the end, the criminal always gives advice to people to help them avoid people like themselves. For example, Levi Ames is all “oh shut your windows, lock your doors, you don’t want me coming in there stealing all your crap lalala!” It seems kind of hypocritical to me but maybe I just suck.


A few points on each

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Okay first I should address the random capitalization. It drives me crazy in these colonial texts.

Declaration & Confession of Esther Rodgers
On a more content related note, I thought it was interesting how Esther found Christ and redemption through her committed sin. Before her sin she didn’t give two craps about religion or faith, but by the end of the act, she almost wanted to die just so she could be forgiven.

The Faithful Narrative of the Wicked Life of Patience Boston
The blood metaphor is back! I think it has to do with the guilt of the sinner, tied to either Christ or the person/people they have killed. Another thing, spake is a really weird word. Can we bring that back? (Also, I giggled when she said her mother’s name was Sarah Jethro.)

A Short Account of the Life off John
This was my favourite one (not because it was the shortest) yet I don’t have much to say about it…I just liked how it was written straight to the point and a sort of organized crime feature.
Another point completely off topic from the readings, I started watching Sons of Anarchy yesterday and I’m already on season 2. You should all watch that because wow it is so A+. And there’s a lot of crime going on but also Jax is beautiful. So you should watch it.

Gallows Pole (get it?)

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Shelby took all of my ideas for this post (yeah, I’m calling you out on it) but it’s cool, I can still expand on them even though I kind of started to in my comment on her post. I think it’s kind of funny (is that the wrong word to use in this context?) that there are people who are so against capitol punishment nowadays. I’m not sure if bringing up that controversial subject is such a good idea, but we’re here for conversation, right? I just think after this dark time (or so-called) in our history where people would go hangout or go on dates to public hangings, a painless death to a horrible criminal is a ridiculous thing to be arguing about.

Also, last class I got to thinking about interesting things for you guys to check out, and I remembered a really cool book about a serial killer who decides he really needs a daughter and kidnaps girls to be his “daughter” and kills them in probably the coolest way possible when he finds a flaw in them (usually them being terrified of him and not treating him like their father). Anyway, he kills them by wrapping towels around parts of their body and then hitting them with a hammer so they don’t bleed or anything but all of their bones break. It’s pretty sweet.

I’ll lighten the mood with some nice music, too