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Welcome To Hard Times by E.L. Doctorow - Book Report/Review Example

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In the world, man must never close his eyes to reality. This could be essentially captured in the phrase; man has to do what man has to do. The author portrays in his book the difference between evil and good. He begins with the evil but ends with the good, perhaps in an attempt to send home the message that good would always triumph over evil (Siegel). The author portrays the evil man has all important. The fear and hesitance of fellow men allows evil to prevail. The message here warns men and women to take responsibility. Indeed, the villain of the novel begins by raping, damaging and destroying the town. He is up to no good and it remains essential that his actions are stopped. The author deliberately portrays the men as too timid to face the villain. The purpose is to communicate the effect of evil in the face of timidity. The men are all afraid. They watch the destruction of the town. Incidentally, the mayor who ordinarily has the responsibility of defending the town is too timid. Consequently, his unsavory silence leads to the destruction of town. What follows is the plunder and state of despondency that faces the town dwellers. Ironically, all men who are expected to stand up for the beliefs and foundations of the town opt to stay silent. Evil carries the day as the town is finally burnt up by the villain who embarks on his departure (Siegel). What the author communicates in the first instance is the relationship between man and evil. The argument put across involves an analysis

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of evil within society. For evil to thrive in society, it needs the environment for growth. The men in the town being silent, having resigned to fate, evil easily spreads without any resistance. Evil spreads its tentacles in society in the absence of resistance. When the villain decides to rape and pillage, he easily carries along because those in society with the capacity to resist have either embraced his ideas or are too timid to mount a resistance. The evil in society that occasion the destruction of town are represented in the brutalities, rape, arsons and murders committed. What is ironic about this is the fact that these acts continue to destroy the society even today. In addition, the author categorizes the evil into two classes. The first class involves evil as acts of commission. These are acts committed by the villain who is set on a mission to see the destruction of the town. He completes his mission and sets off the town. The other class involves evil as acts of omission. In this category, the failure to act constitutes an omission. The mayor and other men compose the latter class of evil doers. Later, the author communicates a message to the audience about these two categories. While the evil commissioners are basically convicted and destined for ruin, the evil doers by omission are offered a chance to redeem themselves (Siegel). This perhaps goes down in communicating the author’s ideas about societal evil. While he perceive plunderers and murderers as outcasts who deserve nothing but death, he reveres the timid. In that regard, he uses the mayor to communicate the message. Indeed, it is the mayor who later leads the campaign to reconstruct the destroyed town. The renaming of the town as the Hard Times is ironical. Indeed, the hard times have passed by and the current and future dwellers of the town could feel relived. The mayor tirelessly campaigns for and actually led the clamor for development of the town. By leading the development of the town after watching the downfall, the mayor is given the rare chance for redemption. He does not fail this time round. He executes his functions well. He provides leadership. The author uses the mayor to show the
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Summary

Welcome to Hard Times.
Welcome to Hard Times is perhaps a contradiction in itself. The author intends to communicate the relationship between man, evil and good. What the author does portray is the salient features in humanity…
Welcome To Hard Times by E.L. Doctorow
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