Taboos In The Body Analysis

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5.) Taboo and Rites of Initiation in The Body The Body provides a great variety of taboos of different degrees, most of which have been addressed before: bodily functions, violence, sexuality, mental illness, death. Some of them only play a minor role in the story, such as the portrayal of obesity or vomition in Gordie 's story The Revenge of Lard Ass Hogan. Others, such as violence and death, are recurrent themes throughout the whole story. But all of them constitute breaches of the moral code. Some actions are not taboos in themselves, but talking about them is prohibited. Mental illness is one example for this phenomenon, represented in The Body by Teddy Duchamp 's father. This verbal taboo is transgressed by Milo Pressman when he calls Teddy a “loony 's son” (347), which is a violation of what Gordie calls “the cardinal rule for kids these days” a little later: “You could say anything about another kid […], but you didn 't say a bad word ever about his mom and dad” (381). In other cases it is not the topic itself, but the way something is expressed, that constitutes a taboo. This includes colloquial speech, vulgar words, as well as certain…show more content…
While theft is none of the very scandalous taboos, it plays an important role in The Body. For Chris, stealing the seven dollars milk money was barely a violation of the law, since he is expected to become a criminal like the rest of his family. In the social order of Castle Rock the surname Chambers equals delinquency, and Chris merely reaffirms this expectation. By contrast, it was a big shock for Chris when he tried to return the money and it was stolen by “old lady Simmons”, a teacher. The fact that a guardian, a person of respect, committed the breach posed a bigger threat to the social order because it blurs the line between criminals and supposedly good, honest people. This disenchantment is what leads to an initiation for
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