2010 Discussion Talk: Texts and Contexts: Captivity and Conflict

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“Captivity” is an intimidating word in many ways. This is due to the various underlying meanings of it, which are threatening and hostile to ones personal freedom of choice. Captivity means that you are not in control, a person controls you physically or mentally, or one could be held captive for example by religion, which would be mental captivation rather than physical. Although at times religion can be physically captivating in the case of Islam; Muslims know not to steal otherwise their arm would be amputated off, they know not to kill or deal drugs as they are fully aware that their head would get chopped off, Muslim women know that if they were to cheat on their husbands they would get stoned to death. These examples are of religious captivity where one is at a state of being under control. We humans are constantly surrounded by captivity, for example all the kidnappings that take place around the world every hour, and people like Fritzl the Austrian man whom held his family captive in a hidden basement in his house for over 26 years after impregnating his own daughter and killing his own son from his daughter. Generations of captivity have also taken place via slavery. We live in a cruel world. “If I should ever be captured, I want no negotiation - and if I should request a negotiation from captivity they should consider that a sign of duress.” Henry A. Kissinger

What a Captivating Subject - Dillon Smith

Captivity is the state of being enslaved. At least that is what we can all agree on. The problem encountered is understanding the terms of said enslavement. There is no way one can fully explain this in two hundred words, so I will briefly address 2 kinds of captivity. As humans, we are primarily creatures of physicality, relying on our senses to guide us through life. We walk with our legs, talk with our mouths and eat with our hands. It is, therefore, no surprise that when the term enslavement comes to mind one automatically thinks of physical captivity; a state which often includes some form of forced labor and a certain deprivation of human physicality. Unfortunately this is not the only kind of captivity. The mind can also be a prison. As a wealthy society we are subject to a myriad of advertisements that attack one of the most primordial senses we have; the ache to belong. Billboards bombard us with the idea that not having the latest commodity makes us outsiders. The dialogue between consumer and corporation makes all of us prisoners to the idea that “fitting in” involves some sort trade: money for security.

What is Captivity?

There is a popular misconception that a person can only be held captive by physical means; these means could be by enslaving, kidnapping, imprisonment, etc. But what a lot of people fail to notice is that captivity can not only be physical but mental and emotional as well. While physical captivity is the most common form of capture, mental/emotional captivity could possibly be the most effective form. A perfect example would be in The Price of Salt, Carol is mentally and emotionally held captive by her husband Harge because she wants to continue pursuing a relationship with Therese but is threatened by the possibility of never being able to see her daughter again. Another example of emotional captivity is the classical story of the woman who does not leave an abusive relationship because her partner has her “cornered.” She doesn't dare to leave because he has made her believe that he is the best that she could do because she is worthless. By manipulating her mentally he holds her captive. Captivity is the state of being held a prisoner. Those who have been imprisoned can give testament that being held captive is as much a state of mind as it is a physical state.

--Juliannyg 19:49, 1 February 2010 (EST)

Captivity by Alex Montane

Captivity is a state of imprisonment, which can be either physical or emotional. Physical captivity may be overbearing and difficult to escape, however, the person in captivity is fully aware of their state and understands that their goal is to escape. Emotional captivity on the other hand, is much more complex because the captivated person is usually unaware of their state. When someone is captivated emotionally, they are subconsciously drawn to the captor for a reason unknown to them. In Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt, Therese is in a captive in her relationship with Richard because although she knows she is not in love with him, her inability to let go leaves her stuck in the relationship. Richard was a sort of father figure for Therese who lacked a father during her unstable childhood. Therese’s emotional captivity was caused by childhood events that affected her psychologically, and therefore could not be controlled. It is much more difficult to realize that you are captive when the captor’s influence is emotional.

Captivity vs. Freedom

The dictionary cites 'freedom' as the most accurate antonym for 'captivity'. This didn't necessarily change the way I've been thinking about the idea of captivity, but has in some ways refined my definition of it. Does a captor have to be inhibiting the freedom of another to be considered as such? Are the rolls of captor and captee(?) strictly defined? Or can the effect be mutual?

Captivity? -Regina Sarabia

Captivity can be more than just physical imprisonment by another. It can also be described as a mental and emotional state where someone is placed under limited conditions in which one or more of the person’s rights and abilities are taken away. Sometimes this applies directly to a physical state where a person is held against their will with no ability to leave. Some consider themselves captives of the circumstances they live in. For example, a state of economic or financial captivity is one where a person’s financial situation defines the places they can go or the type of food they eat. Another example is those who suffer from illnesses that do not allow them to conduct “normal” lives, they might consider themselves captives of their disease or even their own bodies. But captivity is not limited to exterior afflictions. Those who consider themselves to be “trans-sexual” describe their situation as being held captive in their own body. Thus captivity means the loss or incapability to be oneself and do as one pleases.

Captivity V.S. Dependence

We can have traces of captivity as far as History goes. Indeed even the first men used to held captives. But this term can be very ambiguous. There is the classic definition, which is, prisoner, someone kept against his will. But also you can be so dependant of someone that you become the captive of this person. The thing is to find where and when someone is no longer dependant but captive. There are different forms of captives. People in prisons, hostages, are the types you immediately think about when you hear the term captivity. But what about the others? Are children to be considered captive? Are women as depicted in “Women and Economics” to be considered captive? The term is so pejorative that we usually do not use it for children or past centuries women but if we look closely, we can see that there have a lot in common with prisoners. They eat when they are told, they go out when they are allowed and they go to sleep when it’s time.

        So, it is true that they are not held captive because they can leave more easily than prisoners but the level of dependence is so high that it is getting close

Captivity Definition

“Captivity” is the state of being held back, confined, or limited in a physical, mental, or emotional sense. One can be held captive by another individual, themselves, society, personal beliefs, economic situation, or social status. Captivity is relative, so the definition varies from person to person. Depending upon how much control a person is used to submitting in their lives, whether or not a situation is considered one of captivity varies from person to person. The definition of captivity is relative also in a social sense. Different societies and different societal norms may determine whether or not a situation is one of captivity.

where is the "signature" tab??

i cant find the tab we talked about in class. i have "article-discussion-edit-+-history-move-watch" thats it.



also- i want to say that the painting in the library is "Girl With a Pearl Earring" by Johannes Vermeer of course, i could be wrong.

Girl With a Pearl Earring

Can we be enslaved by love?- Dillon Smith

In the spirit of this thing the Hallmark Company has created called "Valentines Day" I am posting a question that I hope creates a discussion-


I would argue that "love" is (contrary to popular belief) a CHOICE; that people who "fall into" love are naïve and need to reflect as to WHY they "fell in" love. So, if you choose to fall in love, you are choosing to work on a relationship.


-Dillon 2/14/10

Captivity & Frederick Douglass

In the timeline of Frederick Douglass' life in the beginning of the book, I noticed that it said he was "an aggressive propagandist for the Union cause". Isn't that a tad bit hypocritical? He used to be a slave and then he supported the enslavement of other people through the draft to go fight in the Civil War which led to the deaths of 600,000 people. I couldn't help but notice the hypocrisy in his actions. What I also find interesting is that in the last line of William Lloyd Garrison's introduction he says, "NO COMPROMISE WITH SLAVERY! NO UNION WITH SLAVEHOLDERS!" It's quite obvious from that statement that Garrison supported Southern secession, although for different reasons than the Confederates. --Calpico 18:48, 15 February 2010 (EST)

What is Captivity?

Captivity is the state of being captivated or captured. Captivity can be either a physical or psychological state. In general, captivity is characterized by a lack of or a removal of freedom. In other words, a person in a state of captivity is limited in his or her choices. Physical captivity is characterized by physical restraints, restrictions, and boundaries. Individuals in a physical state of captivity are restricted in their physical actions and movements. Prisoners or hostages are in a physical state of captivity, restricted and controlled by an inhibiting cell, or penitentiary, or guards. These restrictors are the prisoners’ captors. Psychological captivity represents similar ideas. A person can be held captive by an obsession or mental disorder, which inhibits and restricts his or her thoughts and actions. With psychological captivity, the mental disorder or obsession is the person’s captor. A person in a state of mental captivity is limited in his or her mental functions, i.e. their thoughts, emotions, and impulses, among other things, as opposed to a person in a state of physical captivity, who is limited in his or her physical actions.

captivity by Jaylene Vega

Captivity upon first impression signifies the restriction of a person’s will by another. This means that one person has to be taken advantage of or manipulated by another. The end product would be the feeling of captivity. This could imply a physical state of captivity in which someone of made to stay within a specific place against their will. However, captivity can also be caused by the individual themselves rather than solely by a captor. Certain situations in life could make one feel physically held captive beside without force. For example, if a woman is financially dependent on a man. Her dependency on him make her captive to him. This is an example of captivity due to circumstance and not necessarily due to the force of another. Captivity can also be mental or emotional. For example, obsession or a fixation on a certain memory, place, or person can hold a person captive and prevent them from doing the things they really want. In this case the captivity is self inflicted or created. In the simplest of terms captivity is the physical or mental state in which someone is or feels confined to a space which it is impossible or simply too difficult to escape.

Captivity in Animals - XXXXX

The extent of captivity’s influence even goes as far as animals. Think about every animal at every Zoo around the world; these animals are taken from nature, they are taken from their place of happiness, from their place of safety, to being put in a cell or a cage for our selfish needs of entertainment. This goes against the principles of nature. These animals are not supposed to be locked up and put on display for the pure entertainment of the general public. I recently watched a documentary about Dolphins called The Cove, and it shows the annual killing of roughly 2,300 dolphins in a National Park in Taiji, Japan. The documentary shows thousands of dolphins being herded into a hidden cove where they are held captive and further netted and killed by spears and knives. Furthermore in many tanks in marine parks the water is full of chemicals and bacteria, which leads to death and blindness in dolphins and whales and exotic fish. And many of these marine parks actually subject their mammals to literal hunger so that they perform for the crowd by jumping through hoops to catch some food as a result of starvation. This is a truly harrowing and tragic case of captivity.

Female Captivity as depicted in Art by Jaylene Vega

I happened to stumble upon this painting called The Gilded Cage created by Evelyn De Morgan in 1901. It has a lot to do with what we read in Women and Economics, more specifically, about the assumed roles of women. However, whether woman felt trapped by these societal roles and expressed through art is something that we haven't discussed in class. In this image a woman is trapped inside the home looking outside a window with her arm stretched outwards. This could be her yearning to escape the "cage" in which she inhabits, much like the bird found in the gilded cage along side her. Female captivity is also seen in more modern art. For example the song "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from the musical Sweeney Todd is sung by Johanna a young woman held captive in her beautiful home. She is singing to her bird about her captivity. Birds are often associated with freedom due to their ability to take flight.Female captivity is perhaps not physical captivity but more emotional or mental captivity due to these roles. A woman's place was said to be in her home and a longing to be anywhere but home was frowned upon. This topic lastly reminds me of the saying "Why does the caged bird sing?". The answer to that question is traditionally as follows: because their hearts remain free. I think this serves as a reminder that even in captivity we can find freedom through self expression. Even though women were oppressed in the past their spirit and hearts remained free, as seen in De Morgan's piece. Maya Angelou also wrote the poem "I know why the caged bird sings" which explains how something held captive can still do something that might represent a sense of freedom. In this case the bird although angered by its condition manages to sing of freedom, perhaps in hopes of one day achieving just that. These are just some things to think about...

Below are links to the three references made above.Listen to the song for fun :)

The Gilded Cage http://www.mezzo-mondo.com/arts/mm/preraphaelites/demorgan/MOE029_L.jpg

"Green Finch and Linnet Bird" video song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VytTnwY5E

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/i-know-why-the-caged-bird-sings/

Lesbians prior to the 1960's

After our brief discussion about the Stonewall Inn during class, I started to become more aware and interested in the secretive lifestyle that LGBTs who were “in the closet” were forced to live by. There is some sort of correlation between the time period of which the novel was written and the character’s lifestyles in the novel, namely Carol and Therese. In my opinion, while Therese was the main protagonist of the novel who transformed and matured, Carol was also a victim of captivity. She was more aware of the consequences for being an “out” lesbian, and showing the world her affection for Therese and previously Abby. In this sense, she was held captive by her own sexuality, because she was forced to hide a trait about her that was significant. Therese, on the other hand, was more naïve and inexperienced in the new world that she had step foot in. It was apparent that she was not interested in Richard the way he had been in her, and Carol had been the one to open her eyes to this new life which she wanted to be a part of.

<img src="http://i49.tinypic.com/x2vvhk.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a>


Shutter Island and Captivity, by Amany Noureldin

Last night, I watched the psychological thriller "Shutter Island," starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Marc Ruffalo. It is an excellent film; it is a mind boggler in every possible way. I have been quite interested in the study of the mind, brain and its behavior for a while now, especially in its relation to paranoid schizophrenia. This film defies everything I have ever thought about. I am not going to give away the plot, but I feel it is important to tie in the demented lifestyle of the criminally insane in institutions (like in the film) to the elements of captivity. As I said before, captivity entails some sort of physical or emotional entrapment out of one's own will. In Shutter Island, all the patients in the mental institution are stranded on a barren island with no way out-indicating physical captivity right off the bat. Furthermore, I have previously read novels such as One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest as well as articles describing the lifestyle of patients living in mental institutions. Patients are also emotionally held in captivity because of their confinement to the institution and emotional withdrawal that occurs due to all the practices implemented on them. In some cases, as depicted in the film, doctors take extreme measures such as through electroconvulsive shock therapy, or medicating food, drinks, even cigarettes.

I have always been fascinated as to the "behind the scenes" perspective of how doctors and nurses treat these patients. Patients are held captive of their own mind and body already just by being schizophrenic, because they are unaware of how to control their mind and adjust reality with a foreign world in their head. I know this first hand because one of my closest friends is schizophrenic. She would always tell me "you can't last a day in my head," and it would genuinely scare me, because I know it is true. Society, like I, cannot ever fully understand what these patients go through day to day, the different ideas that levitate in their mind. 
     Traumatic events, such as with the example presented in "Shutter Island," are a significant reason as to why these patients "crack" and lose their sanity, and it is devastating. In the case of the movie, these criminally insane patients are deemed the most unmanageable of all the patients and therefore need to be stranded on a barren island.

This movie’s main theme illustrates the extremities of captivation. Patients are stuck on an isolated island and used as projects to test new medication and discoveries of vile psychiatrists. To live a docile life, in a ward, in a room, in a facility where you know you are no longer free to discover what the world has to offer, but rather confined to a location where your mind is controlled and where you actions are limited is painful, often because half of the time, these patients regress. They will never be liberated even with the use of the most outrageous medications…more to follow on schizophrenia in another discussion.


By the way, I strongly recommend the movie!

Captivity in Shutter Island Reponse

I also watched Scorsese's Shutter Island, and although I do not reccommend it, it did present captivity in a very unique way. The patients in the insane asylum are forced to become captives because of their mental states. Their minds were also in a constant state of captivity, controlled by whichever mental illness they are plagued with. The film confronts the issue that long-term mental facilities are likely to make their patients more captive, which is why the patients are unlikely to ever be free again. At one point Leonardo Dicaporio's character has a conversation with a mental patient who claims that she could never leave the hospital because society has changed so much that she will no longer have the capapcity to adapt to it. Therefore, in the film, the patients suffer a vicious cycle where they are captive of their mind's illness and then imprisoned in an asylum where they are unlikely to overcome their issues because of the fact that they have been removed from society for so long. In The Body Silent, Murphy approaches the issue of becoming a captive to your health in a more physical sense. People with disabilities are unfortunately regarded at lower standards than the rest of society. This view from society causes the physically disabled to become captive because their self esteem is lowered and they feel a sense of shame for their condition. Therefore the physically disabled have much more difficulty succeeding because although they may have equal mental capacity, they may lack the confidence and emotional strength of someone who is not disabled. -Alex Montane

Captivity in the TransAmerica

I watched TransAmerica this weekend, and couldnt help but notice how well it fits into this discussion of captivity. I tried to fit it into my paper somehow but eventually had to get rid of it. Like The Price of Salt, the movie focuses heavily on gender roles and physical experience. Both are crippling sources of captivity for a Transgendered male in the weeks preceding his operation to become a woman. The movie is awkward at times but pretty interesting overall


Captivity in the TransAmerica

I watched TransAmerica this weekend, and couldnt help but notice how well it fits into this discussion of captivity. I tried to fit it into my paper somehow but eventually had to get rid of it. Like The Price of Salt, the movie focuses heavily on gender roles and physical experience. Both are crippling sources of captivity for a Transgendered male in the weeks preceding his operation to become a woman. The movie is awkward at times but pretty interesting overall

NICK DE MOLINA ( i still cant find the signature page)

Does Disability Scare You? By Amany Noureldin

Disability is a fearful reality which we must all accept in the future, to a certain extent. I am most frightened by the thought of disability because it is an indication of change- a bad one. I will admit, like others, that I dread being left alone, relying on the dependency of others, and i am scared that the day will come when nobody is by my side to help me. I would not like to be placed in Murphy's situation where he had to undergo numerous surgeries and and to live the latter part of his life in the hospital and confined to a wheelchair. At this stage of my life, I hope to one day have a partner by my side to stand by me through difficult times, the way Yolanda stood by Murphy. However, as i do not know what life has in store for me, I do not even know if I will be married, if my partner will be able to take care of me, etc. More importantly, I do not want to make my partner a captive as Murphy stated about Yolanda. It is bad enough that the lives of disabled individuals are limited and repressed, and if i were in that situation i would not want that burden to be carried over to my spouse. I am not comfortable with change, especially when it is a change for the worst. Living a disabled is one where an individual has lost his/her freedom, will to live and dignity, because it becomes a life of full dependency. It is true that we are all dependent in some way. I would not want to live a life where someone has to live life for me.

Does Disability Scare Me?

I must admit that disability does scare me. As someone who is able bodied I realize that I take for granted my ability to perform certain functions such as walking, speaking, etc without assistance. I could not even begin to imagine the difficulties associated with being physically disabled as well as having a hidden disability. I value my independence and the way in which I imagine disability,those freedoms I possess would be non-existent. Of course life with a disability is honestly not that much of a trial as maybe i make it out to be however, its much different when one is born with a disability versus acquiring a disability later in life. For example, like Jerome in Gattaca, the sudden change in his life (going from an athlete to someone who is wheelchair bound) had lasting effects on his personality and his outlook on life. Like Jerome, I would have to get accustomed to a new way of doing things. I would have to accept the fact that there would be things I could no longer be able to do and that I would also have to be dependent on certain things in my new life. I would in a sense become part of a new life in a knew world. I suppose my view of the world would be completely different and I would come to identify with a new community of people, the disabled community. Overall, I think the most frightening aspect of having a disability would be the emotional after effects; Coming to terms with the permanence of my disability and realizing that my life would never be the same again or normal is scary. Over time I know I would adapt but the damage caused by the disability emotionally and mentally can hardly be remedies as is present in Jerome's case. Life would undoubtedly never be the same but if the individual has inner strength life would be relatively the same.

Jaylene Vega

Money is a form of Captivation By Amany Noureldin

There were many times where I had heard my parents say the same things as Tom and Betsy Rath- "we live comfortably, so we should not be so [unhappy] all the time".  It took my parents almost thirty years of struggle and labor to obtain the decent life my family luckily now has. 
My father clearly is in a stage of lamentation; he regrets leaving the fame and attention of a national soccer player and trading in his revered uniform and occupation for a less desirable one, a full time  role of a father of two daughters and managing dispatcher of a taxi cab company. He constantly tells me that he feels trapped in this life because he has watched thousands of people he knows move forward and not himself. Even his boss, he deems as an individual who has progressed from owning one car to three cars, owning multiple buildings for rent and houses. This has led me to wonder, is my father feeing a sense of captivity himself? Does he feel trapped by his own will in a contentious battle with money? Is my mother a part of the cause of his entrapment? My mother is picky- she does not want to move into a neighborhood where a train isn't in an immediate proximity within a house, nor does she drive so it cannot be a location where transportation is required by car. This is my father's theory as to why, after 25 years, we still live in the same apartment of the same building in the same block in the same neighbored of Queens, New York. 

My father is not the only one who feels trapped- I believe my whole family has been trapped by money. My parents are at an age where they basically need to remain glued to their present occupation because lets face it, nobody is hiring now a days, especially older individuals. My parents have sadly learned to accept that their salary will remain consistent until their retirement. The "higher learning institution" does not help my situation either. If we've ever had a chance for a better life, Fordham ruined it with the monstrous tuition I must pay. If only I could hit the lotto and release the demon that is keeping my family captive...

Amany Noureldin

The "Default Setting" - Dane Gebauer

Author David Foster Wallace talks about the singular mode of human perception, what he calls the "default setting." I wrote about this in my latest paper, in regards to psychological captivity. Just as there is a default physical captivity-humans cannot fly-there is a default state of psychological captivity:

"Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe; the realist, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness because it's so socially repulsive. But it's pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute center of. The world as you experience it is there in front of YOU or behind YOU, to the left or right of YOU, on YOUR TV or YOUR monitor. And so on. Other people's thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real." (Wallace, speech)

Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket - Dane Gebauer

I thought it would be interesting to draw attention to the roots of Private Pyle's mental disintegration. Previous to his enlistment in the army, was Pyle a captive of already existing mental issues? I.e., did his enlistment simply bring out some preexisting conditions or tendencies? Or did Pyle crack as a result of the intense, institutional captivity of the army, his fellow enlistees, and his overly harsh superior, Sergeant Hartmann?

Private Joker: Leonard, if Hartman comes in here and catches us, we'll both be in a world of shit.

Private Pyle: I am... in a world... of shit.