S-Space Researcher Institutes (연구소) American Studies Institute (미국학연구소) 미국학 미국학 Volume 38 Number 1/2 (2015)
Inoperative Violence: Envisioning a Critique of Violence in Reading High Noon and Shane
- Kim, Younghoon
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.38 No.2, pp. 129-153
- Though the Western genre is often considered through a historical and cultural context, many Western films deconstruct and re-construct the idea of violence, justice, law, and normality. This study explores how High Noon (1952) and Shane (1953) represent the unstable relationship of law to violence. In viewing these films, this study aims to offer critical intervention into contemporary critical discussion on law and violence, promoted by Derrida, Zizek, and Agamben. Walter Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence” provides the major theoretical framework for this tudy’s analysis of High Noon and Shane. Following Bejamin’s idea of violence, this study examines these films as an exploration of the two types of violence: sovereign violence and divine violence. The contrast of these two films inspires us to find a new way of appropriating Benjamin’s divine violence. This paper suggests “inoperative violence” as a form of violence that can open up new possibilities for social transformation.