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Lecture 4

HIST3130 Lecture 4: Victoria Smith - Virtual Notebook Entry 4.2
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Summer 2015

Department
History
Course Code
HIST 3130
Professor
Ashley Mathisen
Lecture
4

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Unit 4 – Virtual Notebook Entry 4.2
How does the text present a moralistic view of criminality?
The text seems to present a poverty-stricken family – likely travellers or gypsies – without the
“normal” moral compass of society. The opening paragraph discusses that Tawny Rachel and
her husband – a poacher – did not find what they needed in “regular labour and honest
industry.” Rachel travelled with items to trade in order to find a way into the houses of her
victims to ‘fortune tell’ and decipher dreams. The entire story suggests that Rachel finds ways
to slither into the lives of her victims by finding their weaknesses (i.e. searching for cures for
their ailments, connecting with the supernatural, etc.). It makes the reader uncomfortable as
Rachel commits crimes so easily and reinforces the public distaste for gypsies and travellers.
The morals of society praise honest work; however, those who flourish from deviant activities
are anomalies within society and frowned upon.
How do you think this would have been received by the public?
I believe that the public would have viewed this as a public service announcement of sorts. The
laws and regulations of society were based around the church and the bible; therefore, Rachel
would have been viewed as a deviant witch.
Do you think it would have been an effective deterrent to criminal activity?
I believe that it would have initially deterred criminal activity as the takeaway from the story is
that giving your faith to a fortune teller causes you to act against God, which frightens people.
Fear works to deter activities of any sort.
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Description
Unit 4 Virtual Notebook Entry 4.2 How does the text present a moralistic view of criminality? The text seems to present a povertystricken family likely travellers or gypsies without the normal moral compass of society. The opening paragraph discusses that Tawny Rachel and her husband a poacher did not find what they needed in regular labour and honest industry. Rachel travelled with items to trade in order to find a way into the houses of her victims to fortune tell and decipher dreams. The entire story suggests that Rachel finds ways to slither into the lives of her victims by finding their weaknesses (i.e. searching for cures for their ailments, connecting with the supernatural, etc.). It makes the reader uncomfortable as Rachel commits crimes so easily and reinforces the
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