The Atlantic Monthly Volume 125

The Atlantic Monthly Volume 125

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1920 edition. Excerpt: ...he sees more than of his own wife and children, his contact is chiefly physical. He has no social relations with them. The military discipline to which he is subjected makes that a primary rule of procedure on the part of the keeper. The warden is not only afraid of collusion among the prisoners, but he is also afraid of collusion between the prisoners and the keepers. The general rule is that a keeper must not speak to a prisoner except on strictly official business, and then the words must be few and to the point. This is the ordinary rule, and the violation of it in the more strictly disciplinary prisons is followed by immediate and summary punishment. There is, however, another reason why the keeper does not associate with the prisoner. After all he is a keeper, an official, a good man (at least in his own judgment). Whereas a convict is a criminal. For his own clear conscience' sake the keeper must, and does instinctively, make a sharp distinction between himself and the man w-hom he guards. This distinction in the mind of the keeper is absolutely essential. It is essential because we cannot brutally impose our will upon our equals and betters. We can do it only to those whom we believe to be inferior, --different, --and not as good as ourselves. In particular, it is helpful if to this feeling there is added a personal element of hatred. It all tends to make brutality easier and more natural. The keeper, of course, does not know all this. He does not see that his hatred and contempt for the prisoner is a shield for his own conscience and a cover for his own morality. He believes the prisoner to be worse, just because he is a prisoner. This makes association between the prisoner and the keepers ahnost impossible, except as it...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 546 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 28mm | 962g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 123683268X
  • 9781236832689