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NCJ Number: 136195 Find in a Library
Title: Rough Justice
Editor(s): M L Friedland
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 277
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toronto Press
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2W8, Canada
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8020-6849-9
Sale Source: University of Toronto Press
Marketing Manager
10 St. Mary Street
Suite 700
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2W8,
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Thirteen essays by literary scholars explore issues of crime and justice in a wide range of literary works.
Abstract: The volume opens with an essay on crime and sin in the bible and concludes with an essay on detective stories. Other essays focus on perceptions of crime and justice in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," Middleton's "A Fair Quarrel," Fieldings "Jonathan Wild," Scott's "The Heart of Midlothian," Dickens' "Our Mutual Friend," Faulkner's "Sanctuary," Dreiser's "An American Tragedy," Wright's "Native Son," Wiebe's "The Scorched-Wood People," and various works by Oscar Wilde and a number of Canadian playwrights. The criminal justice system, as portrayed by the various authors, is viewed as either corrupt and cynical or, at the very least, as insensitive and unresponsive to the real issues in the work. The agents of criminal justice -- police, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges -- are repeatedly portrayed as ignorantly or willfully blind to the truth, causing the reader to question the justice of their disposition. Pulling in the opposite direction, however, is the reader's feeling that justice has in some sense been done in spite of the criminal justice system, even if by a wrongful conviction. Many of the works thus provide sufficient "poetic" justice to satisfy society's desire for retribution. Chapter notes
Main Term(s): Criminal justice system effectiveness
Index Term(s): Fiction; Literature; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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