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Casarietti 1

Mike Casarietti
Deborah Warshaw
British Literature Per. 3
Theories of Evil
Evil, the one truth that everyone has. No matter what there will be evil within the
world ranging from mental evils and embodiments of evil. Through this past semester we
have read three influential book on the philosophy of evil and monsters. From these books
and different studies I have been able to build my own philosophy on the idea of evil and
why it occurs in humans.
The main thought that I have been going off is the idea that evil isn’t something that
we are born with, but it is something that we choose to do from the environmental
influences we have encountered throughout our lives. I extremely agree with the philosophy
of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He states that we are all born a blank slate, we aren’t born
hateful or evil, we are all products of our environment.
Although within the past 50 years studies have shown that many serial killers and
people who do evil things have psychopathic minds. Meaning that they have no way to feel
the emotions we do when a family member or animal passes. These are genetic traits that
make a person inherently evil. Yes this is physically correct for people with this disorder, but
what about the everyday person? The man working a nine to five job only to come to work
one day to end up shooting up the business and himself. This is the environmental influence
that pushes the man over the edge.
Within the story of Frankenstein this is example is shown extremely clearly. The
monster created is completely alone in this huge world, only to fend for himself. The
monster tries his best to be as open and kind as possible, but every time he tries it ends
with many people screaming and wanting to kill him. After being kicked out from the cottage

he had been in for many months he starts to head towards the home of his creator in
Geneva. On his travels the monster encounters a young girl by a river who accidentally falls
in. With a quick effort the monster saves the girl, although within minutes the girl’s father
comes and grabs his daughter. The monster follows them to explain to the father what had
happened but gets shot in the process. This is when the monster officially quits trying to be
good, “inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind.”
Also in story of Macbeth we are able to observe the transformation from good to evil
due to all the environmental influences that have been happening in the characters life.
After three weird witches tell the thane Macbeth that he will be king he slowly goes off the
deep end with power. Starting with killing his beloved king from the influences of his wife.
From this Macbeth has to watch his step with everything because the murder could easily
be pointed back to him. Because of this all of Macbeths trust for his close companion
Banquo is demolished. Convincing himself that he already is a devilish soul that cannot go
back he kills his friend and his son to protect himself from losing the throne. Again these are
all influences from his life that continue to press him to become more and more dark.
So the question is how is this really important and why does it matter? Well
personally I feel as if that this is an important thing to know just for your own basic
wellbeing. Going day to day not letting negative thoughts and energies in your space just to
keep your mental state somewhat normal. All in all there are many theories on the ideas of
evil and where it comes from, but if it is the environment why not build yourself up every day
instead of destroying yourself.

Works Cited
"The Making of a Serial Killer." The Making of a Serial Killer. Web. 16 Dec. 2014.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Macbeth. Champaign, IL: Project Gutenberg. Print.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Maurice Hindle. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern
Prometheus. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.