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Dehumanization [Type text] [Type text]
7 March 2018
Dehumanization Surrounding a Vampire and a Soldier
Within the scope human nature there is a certain need for the dehumanization of a person who has been associated with an act of violence upon another person. Stories involving monsters particularly vampires, often emphasis the heightened level of animalistic savagery a vampire must posses to carry out such grand acts of violence. An almost scapegoat given to the reader, allowing them to believe the vampires are not human and therefore deserve little or no “empathy” which is referred to by Jodi Halpren and Harvey M. Weinstein in their article titled Rehumanizing the Other: Empathy and Reconciliation “as a requirement for overcoming dehumanization”. The dehumanizing of the vampire gives the reader the illusion that their no longer is a connection of humility and is the means to an end. The same dehumanization can be compared to the experience of combat soldiers when engaging in hand-to-hand combat and is forced to terminate a threat. At decisive times when soldiers are forced to take a life, to either save his or her own or a comrade’s life is where the dehumanizing of the enemy is such a crucial and important tool. The metamorphic transformation that both vampires and hand-to-hand combat soldier face can largely be attributed to the dehumanization of themselves and their victims.
As told by Nick Haslam a Ph.D. in Social and Clinical Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, in his article Integrative Review of Dehumanization, “dehumanization should occur when the respective properties are denied to others”(p. 6). More specifically looking into the animalistic dehumanization properties, instinct irrationality and lack of self-restraint, which seem to be vital aspects in the discussion concerning vampires and soldiers.
The instinct irrationality within the vampire could be perceived as driven by appetite and instincts because it is has lost the ability to control the impulses and urges that may arise that conflict with ones “moral dimension” as Haslam calls it (p. 7). The lack of self restraint can be tied the person’s irrationality and illogical way of reacting to certain environments and situations. Haslam further goes on to say in his social categorization “for animalistic dehumanization to occur, a perception of the out-group as lacking in unique human characteristic would have to arise, perhaps by the fear-mediated attribution to it of unrestrained hostility”(p. 10). The animalistic properties such as irrationality and lack of self-restraint almost seem to enhance the ability for one to have a set of quicker reactions to insure the survival of the individual.
P. Schuyler Miller takes an unconventional approach to the view of the traditional vampire in his story Over The River, with an insight into the somewhat non-existence empathetic perspective of the newly transformed vampi...