1. MeganHeld
    Offline

    MeganHeld Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada

    Punishment for Disobedience

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MeganHeld, Jun 30, 2012.

    Hi everyone,

    I am a little stuck with thinking of more aggressive forms of punishment for my novel. I am considering whipping, but am open for some input. Also, if whipping is suitable, what type of whip should be used? This is out of my normal range and hope some authors that have written about extreme forms of punishment could give me some insight.

    Thanks!
     
  2. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,829
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    What kind of novel and who gets punished?
     
  3. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Punishment for what? By whom? Who is receiving the punishment?
     
  4. MeganHeld
    Offline

    MeganHeld Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Basically it is about a bunch of teenagers that are forced to become assassins/spies. The main character refused to do what her weapons instructor told her to do. It is to be punished as disobeying an instructor (a moderate disobedience) and will be done in front of her fellow classmates. The punishment will be done by her instructor. This story is in the future after WWIII and the teenagers are all 14/15 yr olds. Hope that helps some more. Still in the works of it.
     
  5. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,829
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I don't know if I'd use spanking as it would put an inadvertant sexual slant on things - you could try caning.
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus
    Offline

    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Texas
    Teens in training to become part of a paramilitary organization? I'd go with humiliation of some sort. Teens would be particularly susceptible to peer-pressure as a lever to inculcate the adoption of the group's values; this is one reason why the military prefers their recruits young.

    In basic training for the Air Force, my flight accepted a recycle -- a trainee who'd been deemed below par and needing further training before passing on to technical school. Gilbert was his name. He was not 1-A material, and one day we were out on the drill-pad practicing our about-face movement when our barracks was the subject of a Commander's Inspection in which Gilbert's messy clothing drawer played a role in our failing.

    That was bad enough, but the other Training Instructors in our squadron caught wind of it and came out to the drill-pad and mercilessly heckled us, and our TI, as we marched back-and-forth under the hot South Texas sun. The heat made the ordeal that much worse, too. Our TI was pissed, and Gilbert's name was noted.

    When we got back to the barracks, we set about correcting the deficiencies which had caused our failures, then went to supper. Coming back from the chow hall, we were mustered in the dayroom for mail-call. Poor Gilbert, he rarely got mail from home, but of all days, that day he got a letter -- perhaps from his mom, or girlfriend; but it didn't matter. Our TI read his name, Gilbert stood up and gave his reporting statement, and then Sergeant Burton, reminded of his own humiliation in front of his own peers, let him have it with both barrels. After one or two minutes of volcanic rhetoric, Sgt Burton had the quaking airman bring him the offending clothing drawer, and upon pronouncing it "shit", flung it across the dayroom. He then ordered Airman Gilbert to kick his paltry pile of underwear and black wool socks around the rest of the barracks, in laps, as the rest of us thoughtless kids looked on, suppressing smiles as we watched his hangdog form kicking his little pile of clothes around.

    It was only later that I saw how cruel we were, laughing at the poor kid as we congratulated ourselves for not being him. At the time, I only knew I was going to do what it took to never be in his boots.

    That's how humiliation training works.
     
  7. MeganHeld
    Offline

    MeganHeld Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    That is not a bad idea either. If I was going to chose the whipping it was going to be to her back and she would be humiliated because she would be wearing no clothes on her torso. But I am sure I can think of some sort of humiliation to a teenage girl.
     
  8. noodlepower
    Offline

    noodlepower Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmm, humiliation is a good idea. If the character has any particular fears, I would play on those. I know a writer who does that. Like if a character has a fear of water or even death, one method of torture she'd use would be water boarding. I must say though, it's not so much the torture method but rather the feelings she conveys from the person being tortured that really hits home. It's like I can almost taste their fear.

    I don't know much about your character but she seemed rebellious if she refused to obey an order. A rebellious character usually has a certain amount of pride and any punishment/torture should be set around breaking that pride. Oh if you go with a whip, the cat-o-nine-tails I'm told is a good choice as it was designed specifically for torture.
     
  9. Complex
    Offline

    Complex Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yeah, still sexual. Whips, bondage, gags, strange humiliating punishments... Being naked for these just throws that vibe out there. Most humiliation things are bad for training, its good for group works and the weaker recruits, but if you are intent on creating a single soldier and not an effective unit of many, those tactics just won't work. What 'assassin' needs 30 others to do a mission where their lives depend on each other? None. So I'd avoid boot camp style punishments simply because the end result is different from producing effective units, you want effective individuals.

    Classes can be taken as a full and since it is life and death, if its a certain situation (say as shooting someone), then showing physically what can happen as a result is a good example. We aren't being humiliating, but showing that in a specific situation what hesitation could mean. Say shooting a stranger or friend at close range; even if its not a lethal exercise, being hurt is alone enough to show the penalty (and analog to death) for weakness. The last thing I would do is strip down a girl and whip her in front of others as a discipline matter. Teach by example, not by punishment for failure. The punishment should be the same as the trial.

    An evil math teacher might do a 'test' which involves someone using mathematics for supplies or find a specific location based on a real problem. Language tests could involve basic living, where lack of understanding and proficiency could end up being lost and helpless. Weapons training, should involve weapons, like sparring. If you get beaten up for failure then you aren't strong enough, the beating the comes with it serves to provide the determination. No need to get abusive with whips and humiliation. The weak will get strong provided they have reason to; abuse could just break them down more.
     
  10. cobaltblue
    Offline

    cobaltblue Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    If you feel like it should be some sort of physical punishment, what about being called to the front of the class, forced to tell her peers what her infringement was and then being slapped across the face by the instructor. The girl would likely not enjoy being the center of attention in this negative way, the scrutiny of her peers and the hit to her face - such a personal assault - would hurt her physically and emotionally. Also, blows to the face often cause tears to well in your eyes, this might make the girl feel like she has appeared to be weaker than her peers, which depending on how your story plays out, could be a dangerous thing for her.

    Or punishment could come in the form of being deprived of something that the others are free to enjoy. No food, no bedding, no shower and being made to stand silently in the dining hall/sleep on the floor or outside whatever.

    Blue
     
  11. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,374
    Likes Received:
    314
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    I'm actually writing about a man being nearly whipped to death at present so your post was quite topical.

    For teenagers though, my thought would be that they wouldn't be whipped - it's an excessive punishment. The likely punishments of that error would be caning or birching, painful and might leave a welt, but a good whipping would leave a man scarred for life and could even kill. For girls a ruler across the back of the hands or the legs was quite common.

    As for the whips, google them. There are loads and loads of them. These would range from a simple lash, to something as truly nasty as the cat of nine tails used on sailors. And if someone was truly mean, they'd then rub salt into the wounds. Life on the old high seas was fairly brutal. There are also bull whips and stock whips, all of differing lengths and requiring a measure of skill to use.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  12. MeganHeld
    Offline

    MeganHeld Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thank you so much Greg! Whipping I have decided is for extremely bad disobediences. I am glad you are writing about this, you helped give me some insight.
     
  13. c.a.rice
    Offline

    c.a.rice New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oregon
    Again to reference the military life as someone else brought up earlier...it was my experience that many times the drill instructor doesn't really actively discipline the individual, but rather the drill instructor disciplines the entire squad.

    This might be done through extra calisthenics, forced marches, holding buckets filled with sand/water, push-ups, marching, etc. Then...when the instructor is not present (partially so they are not culpable), the group punishes the individual...in a variety of ways.

    Peer pressure in this context is very powerful...the punishment inflicted by the group might be anything from social ostracization, or corporal punishment like a "blanket party"...or worse.

    As an example, one member on our team was like the character Pig-Pen...his uniform was dirty, unkempt, had the morning's breakfast egg yolk dripping down on his collar...and he refused to shower...the smell was horrifically bad from the marching in triple digit heat on a daily basis.

    At one point, the squad was verbally humiliated in front of other teams going through boot camp by the drill instructor screaming at the whole team using choice words to describe us. Later that evening several members of the squad took that individual into the latrine, striped him down, and scrubbed him under the shower with a very stiff floor scrubbing brush. His body was beet red when they were done. He took showers on his own going forward.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Complex
    Offline

    Complex Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    3
    Again not to beat a dead horse; group discipline versus individual discipline. Squads are trained to work together for reasons of survival. Everything in your post specifically highlights the effect on the squad to make an individual conform. For child/teenage assassins or spies this type of punishment is in the wrong category.

    Think about it for a moment, what is the task of a spy? The ability to integrate and effectively collect information or spur misinformation in a manner that keeps them hidden. For weapons training, you really want a bunch of other spies or assassins punishing another member for a failure in training? Spies really do not need weapon training and assassins really do not need weapon training if they are to be effective. Firearms and hand to hand combat is a James Bond thing, but then again James Bond is typical of the 'spy' genre. Cool gadgets, suave and handsome spies who get the hot girl and stop some nefarious plot without getting killed despite any number of henchmen or villains descending upon them. Get real.

    True spies and assassins are not 'loud', they operate with stealth and secrecy. They are your closest friend, they are you confidants, they are that sweet old granny who makes sandwiches for you and sits in her rocking chair all day. A child spy would basically be very hard to create, yet the purposes for espionage are open and varied, such as gathering information from other children and teenagers, being a bold in certain endeavors as child playfulness. They will most likely not be attending social functions or making motorcycle attacks upon limos, but a fair amount of intrigue and tension can result from the setting. I find it much more engaging to have every movement be tense and dramatic when everything is on the line, not going in guns ablazing with some techno/metal theme and plot armor of invincibility.
     
  15. nephlm
    Offline

    nephlm Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Given the academy is trying to build independent operators loyal to whoever. Psychologically in the early stages they are trying to build someone who requires external validation and praise. Basically someone suffering from low self esteem. For a teenage girl you'd prototypically want to attack body image and her sense of being normal. Historical elements such a abandonment and emotional neglect could also be exploited to create the low self esteem.

    Once that's done you need to remove any source of validation except the academy. if she's being resistant that means she still has some internal self worth or a source of validation that doesn't flow from the academy. The academy will view that as something needs to be corrected. The physical component would be physical stress to failure such as running to collapse (building strength, lowering self esteem). Violence wouldn't be a ritualized punishment in itself, but rather to keep her believing she must continue running (doing push ups, whatever) until her own weakness, rather than violence, cause her to collapse.

    Stripping of privlidges, comfort and friends as well as issolation and solitary confinement would also play into this. All with grueling physical compenents to keep the recruit too exhausted to do much thinking. Humiliation as others have mentions would certainly be useful but it showed be tied to her own failures and abnormality rather than an imposed humiliation.
     

Share This Page