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Evil in Literature

Alfredo Torres "booklover"
The list author says: "I thought, if I were teaching a course with a theme of evil in literature, which books would I include? This is what I came up with."
Heart of Darkness (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism)
Heart of Darkness (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism)
"This book is an impressive and classic exploration of human evil, particularly as it relates to ignorance."
William Goldings Lord of the Flies
William Goldings Lord of the Flies
"For those who believe that children are innocent and pure, and free from the taint of evil.  This book may make you reconsider."
We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
"Evil as it relates to or is manifested in women.  One is tempted to see the heroine as mad but really she is quite sane.  Castle makes one question one's assumptions about women.  Is an evil woman actually insane, or is it just easier to perceive an evil woman as crazy because we can't accept that a woman can have a heart as cold and hard as Hitler's or Pol Pot's?"
Vanity Fair (Barnes & Noble Classics)
Vanity Fair (Barnes & Noble Classics)
"The things people do for the sake of vanity."
The House in Paris
The House in Paris
"Sometimes human beings will commit great evil in the name of love.  What is love anyway, if not evil itself?"
The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories
The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories
"These short stories explore evil in different forms--the abusive and murdering husband, the accomplice wife, greed, desire, sexual confusion, nature, the supernatural, etc.."
The Man Who Loved Children: A Novel
The Man Who Loved Children: A Novel
"Mental and physical abuse, desperation, suicide by self-immolation...this is quite an intense book.  Stead is known for flaying your sensibilities and this book lives up to that claim.  A harrowing look at evil in the modern nuclear family."
Les Liaisons dangereuses (Oxford World's Classics)
Les Liaisons dangereuses (Oxford World's Classics)
"The battle of the sexes is center stage as two depraved aristocrats plot and figure out how to destroy each other.  The battle of the sexes itself emerges as a great evil in this story."
Curios: Some Strange Adventures of Two Bachelors
Curios: Some Strange Adventures of Two Bachelors
"The quirky stories in this slim volume explore the evil of greed as two collectors ply their trade, often to ruinous results."
The Invisible Worm
The Invisible Worm
"This book is about violence and the need to stand up to it."
The House of Mirth (Twentieth-Century Classics)
The House of Mirth (Twentieth-Century Classics)
"An upper class set destroys one of its own with gossip, jealousy, and dilettantism that eventually drive her to suicide.  Society can indeed be very evil, at least according to Wharton."
City of Night (Rechy, John)
City of Night (Rechy, John)
"The human evils of shame, fear, and denial keep the protagonist from developing solid, nurturing relationships with other men.  A unique exploration of human and spiritual darkness that still goes unrecognized in modern American letters."
Night (Night)
Night (Night)
"A harrowing train ride to the Nazi death camps is the setting for this novel about what happens when human beings are no longer human beings, but have been reduced to intelligent animals."
Almanac of the Dead
Almanac of the Dead
"The evil of colonialism is explored in this fine novel using the plight of Native-Americans in the US as the setting. Capitalism, colonialism, and psychopathy are all interrelated here."
Cauldron of Blood: The Matamoros Cult Killings
Cauldron of Blood: The Matamoros Cult Killings
"Interesting connections emerge between evil sorcerers and psychopaths here.  Also, the idea that psychopathy may be learned is touched on in this book."