Some interesting observations have been made by British sociologist, Geoffrey Gorer on the differences that lie between distinct attitudes of culture towards death in the Victorian times and in the modern times as well. In an article written by him, in the year 1955, “The death pornography”, he argued that death is considered within 20th century society as something that is closer to how sex was considered in 19th century era. The avoidance of subject especially among children population groups or speaking of it through euphemisms if the subject cannot be avoided is very specific to death (Delillo 1986). Now, death is treated as a hidden aspect and related to an event that should take place behind doors. The opposite notion is also correct from the perspective of 19th century where death was discussed in a free way as sex is spoken of today. As Freud postulated, if society is based over and defined through repressions, the society clearly has undergone a psychological perspective since the era of 19th century.
Freud further brought the view that by the end of life, the human psyche is emergent as a battleground that lies between sexuality and death related fundamental and irreconcilable urges. Death between pleasure principle life enhancing dives and the death instinct related to destructive drives are specific to photography in 20th century. While postulation of instinctive death for Freud has never been able to receive complete acceptation among the followers but still he described his death drive theory as meta-psychological in nature and even as a speculation of far-fetched nature making it possible to view the Western attitudes related historical perspective towards death in the binary opposition framework. In fact, this has been done through Philippe Aries (Delillo 1992). As per Aries, the sexual and death realms were distinct in the culture of West under Middle-ages ended especially because of the Christianity strictures. Henceforth, at this time, death was either represented as a void or simply darkness to not overstate the notion of death. When these strictures loosened and the individual consciousness simultaneous emergence took place, the 2 realms started being associated. Later after several centuries, they collaborated in an erotic macabre in which there was tangible evidence of death related imagery in abundance. Death related outward treatment in rituals or in funerals was not changes or it did not discreetly evolve but death and love started merging in the unconscious realm. The society and artists started discovering the unrecognized hitherto resemblance between these two domains. As per Aries, society started erecting a defence system in different sectors such as morality, government, law, religion as well as technology in opposition to nature’s uncontrollable forces but such defences could not be impregnated. Such assumption erected in opposition to 2 weaker spots elucidating love and death by which less savage violence always gets leaked. Sexuality and death were restrained by society through taboos and ritualization means. Each of these was subjected to collective control of an individual. Individuality proved strong, nevertheless than the society forces that looked into control.
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