Stereotypes In The Hangman's Daughter And The Dark Monk

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Why do people make an initial judgement about a person they have only seen or heard about? Without any information at all, the brain formulates an answer to the question they were pondering: who is that person? One of our greatest sins is to place people into boxes, defining them into one shape, into one dimension. Stereotypes are a very predominant part of reality as well as fictional works. In the novels The Hangman’s Daughter and The Dark Monk , by Oliver Pötzsch, one of the most prevalent themes presented is the idea that people do not necessarily reflect what society expects from them, either because of their role or position within the community. Characters and people in reality may possess some characteristics that reflect the presumptions…show more content…
One of the main characters in the novels is Jacob Kusil, the local Hangman. Throughout both novels, at many various instances, he is shown to be a big and daunting man, “a massive form with black unkempt hair and a full beard that had not been touched by a barber for a long time” ( The Hangman’s Daughter 31) who was in a way inhumane in his treatment of fellow society members. In this 17th century German society, the Hangman was associated with death, torture, and unholiness. In fact, whenever a of the town member would interact with the Hangman, they would “murmur a prayer, careful not to look into the Hangman 's eyes” (The Hangman 's Daughter 144). When we think of a hangman, the general image that is conjured is one of a large burly man with unsanitary bodily conditions and an emotionless mask. We correlate a big domineering physical character with the position of Hangman, a role that involves extensive torture and daily killings. Because of such demanding work, in society, the Hangman is the lowest in society. His only purpose is to fulfill the job that is necessary but strongly opposed by other members in society. The description of Kusil given in the book does match the perceived notion about him due to his niche in society. Additionally, those above him feel a need to justify their position in society. Humans tend to, “In an effort to be seen as superior, drag others down, painting them as inferior”
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