By Emelyne Godfrey (auth.)
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Additional resources for Masculinity, Crime and Self-Defence in Victorian Literature
The sexualized description of a garotting implies that through his helplessness, the victim becomes feminized and subject to dominant masculine violence. W. 18 The clerk not only loses the The Ticket-of-Leave Man 39 battle between himself and the garotters but, furthermore, his implied violation serves to suggest that he has been rendered passive, stripped of the physical ability to compete further in the masculine arena. The physical and psychological trauma undergone by the victim is feminized when it is alleged that Goodman will most likely suffer a form of male hysteria in response to his physical ordeal.
The threat to public safety is magnified by the way in which the infrastructure erected to handle outcast groups is depicted as being at breaking point. Some attempt was made to portray ticket-of-leavers as human beings and to comprehend their difficulties on returning to Britain. Henry Mayhew convened a meeting with ticket-of-leavers in 1856 for the men to ‘say a word to society’. The accounts given by ex-convicts regarding, for instance, the difficulties in finding work or false re-arrest were then discussed by Mayhew in The Times.
The physical and psychological trauma undergone by the victim is feminized when it is alleged that Goodman will most likely suffer a form of male hysteria in response to his physical ordeal. As All the Year Round elaborates: ‘It is long before a man recovers from such an attack. Perhaps he never entirely recovers from it. ’ This is perhaps hardly surprising, as The Times reported that in November 1855 during one garotte attack, ‘a stiff but pliable noose’ was ‘placed round the victim’s head and pulled so tight as nearly to strangle’ the victim.