Conflicts In Theodore Dalrymple's The Frivolity Of Evil

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Theodore Dalrymple is a British doctor who worked for the NHS (National Health Service) until retirement. Most of his writings come directly from his experience in his field and more often than not he writes about the situation in which low-class citizens are living in. This is the case for “The Frivolity of Evil”. The author main concern in this essay is to answer to the question “why do people commit evil?” and how it could be, eventually, prevented or even suppressed. Theodore claims that, while at the beginning he thought that “in the absence of the worst political deformations, widespread evil was impossible”, he soon found himself to be wrong. Dalrymple’s main claims are that “men commit evil within the scope available to them” and that perhaps the kind of evil he faces on a daily bases (he calls it a “low-level but endemic evil) is unforced and spontaneous. Is lesser words, he believes that evil is chosen freely. In stating his claims, the author finds the government and the intellectual elite to be one of the main cause of it asserting that, “ Intellectuals propounded the idea that man should be freed from the shackles of social convention and self-control and the government […] enacted laws to promote unrestrained behavior […] When the barriers of evil are brought downs, it flourishes.” The author brings his personal experience as an md in a prison and in a hospital ward as evidence of his claims. He admits that he is viewing this entire matter from the only

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