Homo sacer is a person who according to the Roman law he or she may be killed by anyone willing to do so but not as a religious sacrifice. These persons are outcasts in the society. The killers are not regarded as a murderers. They also don’t have any religious right nor are their dead bodies approved as sacrifices. Anyone in the society can become a homo sacer. For one to find her or himself in this condition, they must have collided with the gods through breaking of oaths .Aton oath is regarded as a curse brought about by one self. One who broke the oath belonged to the gods and the only solution was to kill him. The Roman law allowed this practice . According to Agamben, Homo sacer is a bare life. Zoe means living common while bios means living a good life.The novel “birds without a nest”talks of a society where citizens are deprived off their rights by the authorities and the priesthood.Interacial marriages are not allowed in the society the writer comes from.At one instance the writer is sent awy from the catholic church for crtisizing the immoral priesthood.
In modern age, a person who breaks the law cannot use his or her voice to argue their innocence. One loses his or her freedom in this kind of context. Clorinda Matto de Turner,had to flee to another country for the authority wanted to kill her for critising their cusroms. There is a difference between bios and homo sacer, in that bios judgment is made by people who have judicial powers to do so. It is argued that homo sacer concept does not respect the basic human right of citizens. When one is found to have committed a crime, he or she is detained and thus subjected to a bare life in the eyes of the law. Agambens study was aimed at revealing the deeper secretes of the relationship between bio political powers and judicial powers in the modern society. Homo sacer is brought about by political conflicts. Some sovereign powers have adopted ancient divine laws which undermine human values.In the novel “birds without a nest”A couple had to free for fear of victimization by the authorities and the priest for their union which was interracial.The reader is left wondering “is religion supposed to save people or enslave them”19 (Giorgia Agamben).
Philosophers have termed life as inherent. They have tried to attach the problem of pure likelihood, potentiality and influence with the problem of social and political ethics where it has lost its previous religious and cultural meaning. Homo sacer is completely inseparable from the supreme powers. A sacred person is one who can be killed but cannot be offered as a sacrifice.Not even religion can save people from barbaric customs.In the great works of Clorinda Matto de Turner priests and authorities do not pay for labour and even entice women to immoral sexual behaviours. Citizens cannot flee themselves from the York of the leaders and those who do not obey are killed.This society is not different from the Romans who follow their customs regardless of its human right violations. Opinionated constitutions form the basis of homo sacer that governs a life (Nikolopoulou). It is therefore excluded from the perimeters of the state. It is through the elimination of the depoliticized structure of life that the politicized rule exists. A sovereign atmosphere has been created in which it is allowed to slaughter without committing a felony and without celebrations of a sacrifice. The supreme law is one which respects to whom all men and women are potentially homines sacri and homsacer is one with reverence to all men and women and they act as sovereign (Lewis).
What brings the surviving supporter, supreme law and homo sacer in one single pattern is that in every scenario we get ourselves confronted with a naked life that has been alienated from its framework.A couple in the novel BIRDS WITHOUT A NEST came to find latter that they were related.This was as a result of the immorality practised by the priests. Therefore, surviving its death .It is for this basis unsuitable with the current humanity just like slaughtering a hom sacer is not an offense, the homicide of the sovereign encompasses a serious felony. The first footage of homo sacer, a new political theme of 1679 was by writ of habeas corpus. The center of this topic is neither the aged topic of feudal relationships and freedom, nor upcoming citoyen, but quite a pure et simple corpus. It is not the liberated mans prerogative and statute, nor homo, but somewhat corpus that outlines a different theme of political ideology. The development of bio politics, the politicization of homo sacer is incoming into a more close relationship not only with the custodians of law, but also with the medical doctor, expert, priests and scientists (Giorgia).
Every civilization has laid down its limit even the modern one. It decides who is sacred among men. It is more likely that this boundary on which exception and politicization of the ordinary life in the juridical array of the situation depends. It has not made any impact but enlarge itself to the West is now enlarging to bio political sphere of nations with general independence and entered in every human being all citizens . Homo sacer is not only enclosed to a specific region or a distinct group. It exists in the natural spirits of all living human being. Establishments of rights should be referred as the achievement of the route from divine and formal imperial control to states dominion. The body possesses weakness to autonomous authority and being free. It is the duty of the sovereign states to make decision as when life comes to an end and politically applicable and the worth or the unworthiness of life as in the context (Lewis).The catholic church hated Matto for critising the church but this did not deter her nonovel “ Birds without a nest” from its popularity.
The uniqueness of current bio politics lies in the reality that the biological is known as directly political, and that the political one is as immediately as the biological give. Life is given in the declarations of human constitutional rights. This has become the view of sovereignty and the object of current politics .Life and death obtains a political dimension only in the course of decision base. Life and death do not have a proper scientific explanation but somewhat political concepts which are obtained from a political significance specifically through a decision (Giorgio Agamben).All through the reader would ask “are we still living in the same customs as before or are the custom eroding with time”34.
The captivating story, THE LAND THEY GAVE US , is symbolic. Land is a property when one owns it unless he or she sells it as it is passed from one generation to the other. Land here is used to mean the barbaric laws that are passed by the states. Not all land is beneficial to the owner. Here the writer refers to plain land which is of no use to the people. No one is interested in it. This bare land is useless just like the homo sacers who are outcasts in their society. The three men complain and blame the government of their suffering in the plains. This again symbolizes that the law that the governments adopt affect the citizens. We find that there are people who have already accepted this kind of life referred to as the villagers. The citizens know quite well that there is another good land may be referring the desire of the laws or customs being repealed. With the introduction of Christianity, the homo sacer has taken a new meaning different from the ancient roman religion. Christianity upholds the human dignity and does not value human sacrifices. In the new context, no one has the authority to take life or kill.
In conclusion, essential undertaking of sovereign authority is the creation of bare life as unique political constituent and as porch of expression between life and culture. Currently, it is not the capital but rather the base camps that are the ground for bio political pattern in the West.
Agamben, Giorgio. Homo sacer. Stanford, Calif: Stanford Univ. Press, 1998. Print.
Agamben, Giorgio. Homo sacer. Stanford, Calif: Stanford Univ. Press, 2010. Print.
Lewis, Wyndham. "Wyndham Lewis Chronology." Modernism/Modernity 6.3 (1997): 165-165.
Nikolopoulou, Kalliopi, Giorgio Agamben, and Daniel Heller-Roazen. "Homo Sacer: Sovereign
Power And Bare Life." SubStance 29.3 (2000): 124. Print.