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A Return to the Sea

A Return to the Sea

By Shan-Li Barkovich

Edna Pontellier’s story culminates in death, but not in destruction. The last pages of Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening detail Edna’s final moment on the shore of Grand Isle in a position that may indicate her defeat as one who has attempted to break free from the conformities of what it means to be a woman in 19th-century America, but may also represent her success in accepting the impossibility of her situation and taking control of the one thing she has power over: her mortality.

American Madmen: Oppenheimer, Teller, and the Purpose of Science

American Madmen: Oppenheimer, Teller, and the Purpose of Science

By Camryn Traa

When considering where to lay blame for the hypothetical end of the world, it can be hard to decide whether responsibility lies with the creators of the means of destruction or those who actively put these means to use. This struggle is present throughout Heinar Kipphardt’s play, In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Stephen Straker Prize Winners 2019/20

We are thrilled to announce the Straker Prize winners for 2019/20! This year, the winners are Macy Quigg and Natalie Sparrow.

Eichmann, Oppenheimer, and the Perils of Blind Obedience

Eichmann, Oppenheimer, and the Perils of Blind Obedience

By Erfan Hakim

In Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus makes the disconcerting claim that “justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger” (Plato 338c).What is fascinating about Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil is that Adolf Eichmann falls prey to Thrasymachus’ problematic conception of justice.

Nietzsche and Arendt’s Warnings Against Totalitarianism

Nietzsche and Arendt’s Warnings Against Totalitarianism

By Gabriel Cameron

Friedrich Nietzsche and Hannah Arendt have both been misinterpreted with regard to their attitude toward the Nazis, but in fact they both hold very strong and uncompromising anti-Nazi views. I believe Nazism is a version of the ascetic ideal, an ideal which Nietzsche abhors.

What Does Justice Look Like for the “Banal” Adolf Eichmann?

What Does Justice Look Like for the “Banal” Adolf Eichmann?

By Nola Boasberg

Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil is nothing short of terrifying. The striking candor with which Arendt uses Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 trial to bring to light the horrors committed under the Third Reich is so irreconcilable with what we want to be true about the moral compass of mankind that it may be easier to pretend these events are all fiction, just an appalling thought experiment as to how far a society is able to go towards injustice and evil under the right circumstances.