Abstract

This essay examines Saul Bellow’s treatment of evil and his use of Kantian and Schopenhauerian ideas as an antidote to moral and ethical malaise in postwar American society. In my view, after two world wars, evil became a formidable competitor to good in the conduct of human affairs. I interpret Bellow’s moral and ethical approach to evil in Mr. Sammler’s Planet in light of Kant and Schopenhauer, who deeply influenced him in this novel. I reexamine Hannah Arendt’s concept of the “banality of evil,” keeping in view Sammler’s and Bellow’s other protagonists’ responses to the prevalent moral anarchy in society.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. A280-A316
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-23
Open Access
No
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