My Lobotomy is a memoir written by Howard Dully who is among the youngest people who underwent trans-orbital lobotomy. This procedure was performed on him while at the age of 12 and it was initiated by his step mother who disliked his behaviors. He explains how he was diagnosed by schizophrenia, the procedure and how it affected his life and how he learnt that it was not right for the procedure to be performed on him.
Dully’s mother died of cancer and left him under his step mother’s care. Dully grew up in an environment of emotional abuse and rejection. He was severely beaten up and forced to do things by the step mother and due to this emotional strain, he developed deviant behaviors (Dully and Fleming 46). Dully used to fight with his three brothers all the time because, he felt rejected and alienated from the family. He became disobedient to his parents and never took instructions from them. 'If it's a banana, he throws the peel at the window; if it's a candy bar, he leaves the wrapper around some place he does a good deal of daydreaming and when asked about it he says, "I don't know." He is defiant at times - "You tell me to do this and I'll do that"(Dully 125) Dully’s deviant behaviors like stealing, fighting his brothers and even disobeying his parents made it possible, justified, and even necessary to lobotomize Howard Dully at the age of 12. Dully records in his memoir that he could steal sweets and leave the wrappers in the open so that they could know he did it. When asked if he did something, he could deny it yet he has left evidence that he did it. The nature of him doing bad things intentionally justified his parent’s act of taking him to be labotized because they felt that he was sick. Dully’s defiance and daydreaming spells made Freeman decide that it is enough for the procedure to be done on him because it was a fact that he had a mental disorder and the procedure improved symptoms of mental disorders. Freeman had a feeling that if he performs the procedure on Dully, it could help cure his schizophrenic state and also his deviant behaviors could end.
Lobotomy helped cure abnormal behaviors and Dully had abnormal behaviors which his parents needed to be cured. Since they got advice from the doctor they were referred to that the procedure could cure their son, they opted for it and this justifies their idea of lobotomizing Dully at the age of 12. They wanted their son to change and be a good person.
Dully, Howard and Fleming, Charles. My Lobotomy. Random House: Crown Publishing Press, 2007. Print.
Dully, Howard. My Lobotomy: A Memomoir. Random House: Crown Press, 2007. Print.
Dully, Howard and Fleming, Charles. Messing With My Head. NY: Vermillion, 2007. Print.
Grimes, William. Spikes in the Brain and search for Answers. New York Times 14 Sept. 2007. Print.
The Monster by Sanyika Shakur
The monster is an autobiography of Sanyika Shakur which explains his life as a gangster, experiences as a gangster in the streets, his life in prison and how he transformed into a Black nationalist. Throughout Kody Dehjon Scott’s life (Sanyika Shakur) he and her mother were physically and emotionally abused by his step father. This led to a divorce between his parents and they moved to a neighborhood infested by gangs (Shakur 38). Kody was rejected and degraded by his step father whereby he only cared for his biological children. The criminal life of the monster who was Kody started when he started socializing with gang members in his neighborhood. Kody became a gang through the socialization process.
The social learning theory can be applied in Kody’s case of developing deviant behaviors because he learnt deviance from the neighborhood he was living in. Kody was sent out of school then he started hanging around with one of the gangsters and through their interaction, he was initiated into the group and became one of them (Shakur 163). In the society they were living in, parents were not responsible for their children thus this led to an increase in deviant behaviors. The social conditions they were living in, exposed them to crime, they were in slums thus they had no class and lived a poor life.
The anomie theory also applies to the monster Kody because he became a monster due to being brought up in a disadvantaged and minority group that lived in slums. The children in the neighborhood wanted class and they could only get it through crimes and robbery. Their parents did a lot of work to fend for them and they wanted to live a good life so they developed deviant behaviors of crime in order to gain class. Kody’s mother did several jobs ( Shakur 98). Kody experienced anomie because he came from a very low class that lived in slums and he had gone through abuse in his childhood so he opted for deviant behaviors to attain his goals and live like the people with class (Brumble 162). Furthermore, there was a cultural transmission theory in Kody’s life because he had moved in a society where norms were not respected so he followed the trend of ignoring societal norms and joined the other children in gangsterhood. The strain theory can also be applied in this story because crime always was on a higher rate in lower class areas and this is where Kody was brought up in, in slums and so he had to be like the rest of the children who were gangsters in the slums
Brumble, David. The Gangbang Autobiography of monster Kody (Aka Sanyika Shakur) and warrior literature, American Literary History 12.182 (2000) 158-186. Print.
Brumble, David. “Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams, Gangbanger Autobiography, and Warrior Tribes” Journal of American Studies 44 (2010): 155-170. Print.Shakur, Sanyika Monster: The Autobiography of L.A. Gang Member. NY: Penguin Books, 1993. Print
Sanyika, Shakur. One Act: Short plays of the Modern Theatre. New York: Grove Press, 1993. Print.
Elliot Leyton through his book hunting humans studies the world’s six most notorious serial killers. Leyton addresses social factors as the main cause for intensifying the increase in serial killings and mass murders (Leyton39). He further explains that these serial killers are men who have been rejected and alienated by the society and they commit the mass murders because they are revenging for the rejection they get from the people with class. In understanding the modern serial killer and mass murders, Leyton argues that the murders are men who are after revenge and are socially conservative and class conscious and have an obsession with class, power and status. Most of the serial murders commit the crime because they have faced rejection from people with class and they struggling to get class from the society that has excluded them (Leyton 145).
Leyton explains that multiple murders were as a result of social conditions and class, an example is where Mark Essex kills people because he was rejected by his girlfriend after she had earlier agreed to marry him (Leyton 127). Essex deviant behavior of killing was motivated by the fact that he was never considered equal with other people and that is why he was rejected. Through his struggle to find class because he felt rejected by the social class that was above him and was not ready to accept his permanent social position, he decided to kill all the whit people and all who put him down for revenge.
Leyton’s sociological arguments in his book are solid and logical. His theoretical arguments are solid because all the cases he mentions in the book presents struggles between members who are alienated by a class that is above them and it has a secure social status. The people with class rejected and alienated the people without class and this brought revenge against them. The case studies in Leyton’s book support his theoretical explanation of social conditions as the main motivation of deviant behaviors which led to serial killings. This book clearly shows that murderers are not psychotic maniacs as they are said to be but they act on social conditions that turn them into becoming serial killers. Most of them act in revenge.
The serial killers in Leyton’s book experienced anomie because they were rejected by those with class. They decided to employ deviant behaviors like serial killing to retaliate against the society that is alienating them. Social strains are experienced due to rejection from the society and social strain leads to deviant behaviors.
Leyton, Elliot. Hunting Humans. New York: Pocket books, 1988. Print.
Leyton, Elliot. Hunting Humans: Inside the Minds of Mass murders. New York: Pocket books, 1992. Print.
Leyton, Elliot. Hunting Humans: The rise of Modern Multiple murderers. New York: McClelland and Stewart, 2003. Print.
Leyton, Elliot and Chafe, Linda. Serial Murder: Modern Scientific Perspectives. New York: Ash gate, Dartmouth, 2000. Print.