A Human Being Died That Night Analysis

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Conscience is the feeling inside one 's self that alerts them that something is wrong. This can sometimes be overpowered by stronger external forces such as a powerful authority figure, surrounding circumstances, or the belief that what they did was correct. Through, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt argues that for the first time the world has encountered a different kind of criminal- - one that blindly followed orders from superiors and was made to believe the anti-Semitic ideology, although it could have been any ideology. Similarly, in her work, A Human Being Died That Night, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela claims that the actions of ordinary citizens could be influenced by surrounding practices and drive people…show more content…
De Kock did have a conscience, but the line of work that he was in and the tasks he was assigned required him to desensitize himself and subdue his inner conscience - something the society in general also did (52). He was able to convince himself that the apartheid ideology was morally correct and what he was doing was justified. While convincing himself that what he was doing was right, his conscience was silenced and numbed every time his "trigger hand" shot at any anti-apartheid supporter. Initially, Gobodo-Madikizela was surprised to find herself regarding to de Kock as a regular man because to the rest of the world de Kock was a cold-hearted killer responsible for the deaths of hundreds of ANC members (CITE). After meeting with him, she asserted that de Kock was someone who was caught in the system and did have a conscience, but instead chose to ignore it during the apartheid. Gobodo-Madikizela gave an example of someone being astonished by how normal de Kock looked, going as far as to compare him to their own brother, contributing to the fact that any ordinary citizen could very well take part in atrocious, evil acts

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