Nowadays, in the world in which we live, violence is reported everywhere. It makes parents became worried. So, they try to protect their children from the adverse impacts in society. But although society has taught us that violence is not accepted, in the essay “Violent Media is Good for Kids,” Gerard Jones tries to convince people, especially the kids’ parents, that violent media is good or furthermore, it is essential for the development of children. He uses his own childhood as an example of how media or The Hulk helped him switch to “more sophisticated heroes” (Jones 195), and “finally found my own lead along a twisting path to a career and an identity” (Jones 196). Afterwards, his son was afraid to climb a tree, so Jones read the stories of Tarzan to his son. Then later, his son was climbing trees. He also gives other examples of how violent media helped children to overcome their stressful and hurtful lives. A healthy child must grow both physically and mentally. Especially, mental illness in children can be hard for parents to identify. Gerard Jones admitted that he grew up too passive because he was sheltered from the media. In recent years, there has been dispute about whether or not children should view, or listen to violent media. In “Violent Media is Good for Kids” Gerard Jones says that we should. He noticed that “people pulling themselves out of emotional traps by immersing themselves in violent stories. People integrating the scariest, most fervently denied fragments of their psyches into fuller senses of selfhood through fantasies of superhuman combat and destruction.” (Jones 196) .Each person’s childhood is often associated with something, for example, Donald Duck, Superman, or Barbie doll, Batman, etc…
Those characters sometimes play an important role in the formation of their life. After finding his favorite character, The Hulk, Jones “finally found my own lead along a twisting path to a career and an identity” (Jones 196). Jones’s son, perhaps, admires Tarzan, who was told by his father to support him to climb a tree. To Jones, a super hero model can give kids strength and make them brave. Children need a way to express their natural rage and by allowing them to read these stories or play battle just for fun with their friends helps them develop into kids that will interact with each other. All kids feel rage, so if they let it out in a safe way, they can use it to combat challenges in life. Thus, violent media helps them develop into people who are not afraid to stand up and take charge. Jones tries to prove that violent media can help kids if it is used in the right way. He writes a quote from Melanie Moore, Ph.D., a psychologist who works with urban teens, to support his argument. He does however include examples as to why he believes that violent media is good for children. But he does not include statistics to back-up his arguments and this is a weakness of Jones’s essay. His examples might not be credible because he presents himself as one of the evidences and each child develops differently. We can see every child takes a different way to explore the world. Many children will grow up like Jones. They will find themselves in the real world and know who they are if they were allowed access to the media. He states “When we try to protect our children from their own feelings and fantasies, we shelter them not against violence but against power and selfhood.” (Jones 197) .Parents cannot ban their kids playing video games or watching violent cartoons but as adults, they must know which one is good, which one is bad for our kids. When parents try to protect their children from the influence of violence, they need to remember that although comics and video games are full of violence and fighting, they also have messages and some good lessons. Parents always loves their children, so Jones uses the phrase “when we tries to protect our children” to let the parents know that he sympathized with their concerns. But then he says: “we shelter them not against violence but against power and selfhood.”
The word “shelter” means to protect from something harmful. He emphasizes that the harmful thing is not violence but it is harmful to children losing their power and selfhood. However, some children might take the message of the stories the wrong way, putting themselves too deep into a story. They may hurt themselves or the others because they thought that they were strong like their favorite hero. As increasing violence in the media would be certainly dangerous for society and corrupt a child’s thoughts and imagination through blood, knives and guns, those were called “a tool to master their rage” (Jones 196). “I’m not going to argue that violent entertainment is harmless. I think it has helped inspire some people to real-life violence. I am going to argue that it’s helped hundreds of people for everyone it’s hurt, and that it can help far more if we learn to use it well.” (Jones 197) .Jones admits that violent media isn’t harmless and that it does drag some children to doing real life violence, but he does not say specifically what should be done about this issue. He goes on to say that it
has helped more than it has harmed. There is much research on whether children should or should not access to violent media. By giving some evidence as well as using quote authority to support his thesis, Gerard Jones made a good essay to persuade that violent media is one of the factors that children need to develop. The title “Violent Media is Good for Kids” is also impressive. It makes the readers curious because “violent” and “good” may sound contradictory. However, his essay is interesting but not enough to convince. A good way to protect the children is to give them the right tools in life, and teach them how to make it a responsible choice and how to protect themselves from bad temptations. “All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.” (Rosenberg)
Jones, Gerard. “Violent Media Is Good for Kids.” Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 195-197. Print. Rosenberg, Marshall B. Nonviolent Communication: A language of life. California: PuddleDancer Press, 2003. Print.
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