For this question, I have chosen to discuss the following three works of
literature: Crime and Punishment, by Feodor Dostoevsky, Beloved, by Toni
Morrison, and Utopia, by Sir Thomas More.
To begin with an omniscient and philosophical frame of reference, crime
is only defined as crime by the society defining it. When a mass of human
beings coagulate to¬ gether and form a civilized society, they are bound to make
rules and laws to follow and bide by; for laws are one of the cornerstones of a
civilized society. If there were no laws, society would be uncivilized and in a
chaotic state of anarchy. These laws are decided and administered usually by
elected officials who act as leaders in the society. From the input of the
citizens, they make laws to run the society by. And when a person breaks the
law, that is defined as a crime'. For example, purposeful and alleged
manslaughter is a crime, because it is a law to not kill others; people are not
allowed to go cavorting around killing whomever they please, if they did,
civilization would fall. Laws and rules hold us to civilization.
Another way to define crime is through ethics and morals. Each person
on this Earth possesses a conscience; when we do something wrong, our conscience
makes us feel guilty, although some people feel less or more guilt than others
about certain acts; it varies individually. Based on this, one can define a
crime as the things that make us feel guilty, although some crimes do not make
us feel guilty. Some people do not feel any guilt when committing immoral acts;
these people are deemed psychopaths or sociopaths by society. For example, most
people do not feel guilty when they break the law by speeding, its just a way of
life these days, but with complex ideologies (stealing, killing), we feel guilt
if they are committed. Our consciences also hold us to civilization.
In Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, the... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Crime and Punishment: Is There or Is There Not Such a Thing as Crime?. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Crime-Punishment-There-There-Not-Such-5101.html
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