Cannibalism Analysis

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Cannibalism, as an unacceptable and repugnant act that seriously challenges moral doctrines, has been castigated by contemporary civil society for a long time. A sufficient number of literary works on cannibalism, ranging from fictional novels and explorers’ documents to scholarly research, reflect the fear and boycott of this barbarous and brutal crime from so-called civilized society. Anthropologist Rupert Stasch, however, indicated that Korowai witch execution, in a form of a bloody ritual cannibalism in West Papua is a cultural practice implemented with strict rules and follows a “culturally distinctive logic” (33). The police regulation from the civilized society, on the contrary, results in the violence and panic. The dialectic view of …show more content…
According to Freud’s theory, it is the superego that controls people’s sense of right or wrong, honor or guilt, which helps individuals better fit in society and behave according to the social requirements (Snowden 105). Therefore, a dialectic social value judgement system which contains a reference point to distinguish between justice and injustice becomes a vital prerequisite of the construction of superego. Bimin-Kuskusmin, however, are initially dominated by a monistic world view. As Peggy Reeves Sanday pointed out in her book Devine Hunger, the sacred ancestors in their myth are androgynous creatures and undertake all opposites (85). The newborn clan members all come from the ancestor underworld and possess a monistic world view at the biological beginning of their life as well (84). The monistic view represents a chaotic stage in their ideology, where the distinctions between all pairs of dialectic components do not exist. The superego, which to a large extent relies on the social judgement system, becomes hard to come into existence, because without a dialectic social model as a reference point to distinguish between the opposites, Bimin-Kuskusmin people cannot …show more content…
Sanday explains the reason for their complicated cannibalistic acts as “what goes on outside the human skin can be as psychologically relevant as what goes on in mind” (95). When they conducting external ritual cannibalistic acts, they are actually trying to deal with their inner confusion due to the lack of value judgement system. In the Great Pandanus Rite, miserable human sacrifices of captive are tortured the victim to death, whose body is split into different parts and distributed to certain places according to the prescribed rules (Sanday 95). The human sacrifice’s body represents the totality of ideology where all the opposite values are mixed and the dismantlement of the victim’s body represents the separation of those opposites. The distribution of human body parts and the consumption of human flesh correspond to the construction of an inner dialectic value judgement system and the assimilation of the value which the consumed part of body represents. Superego arises, as Freud argues, from the education received from parents, teachers, community and society when an individual begins to suppress his or her desire and regulate their behaviors according to the social orders and values (30). With a clear social value judgement system, the rise of superego

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