Good versus evil

An ideal society has a distinct balance and tension between good and evil. Humans are not necessarily the good and evil people. Given the modern technology at the time, people use it in different ways to try and accomplish one thing: happiness. Whether they know it or not, their actions and creations were made to make people happy and satisfied, but essentially pose a threat to the world they live in.

The game, Cat's Cradle, involves the winding of string around the fingers creating different shapes and patterns. The game is a symbol of evil because of the lies humans fabricate and get tangled in. “No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat's cradle is nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X's...No damn cat, and no damn cradle" (Ch 74).
Creators of the atom bomb thought it would be the best thing to happen to the war. We knew the consequences and potential of this weapon, but we did not know the strength and power of our own violence. "I'll think you'll find," said Dr. Breed, "that everybody does about the same amount of thinking. Scientists simply think about things in one way, and other people think about things in others" (Vonnegut, 14). It won us the war, but today we realize the destruction we created to our own world. Similar to ice-nine, the Marines that asked for the weapon wanted it to make fighting easier in the swamps, marshes, and mud. Dr. Hoenikker, thinking from a scientific point of view realized the logic and power ice-nine had to end the world. He saw the truth in a scientific way rather than humanity's point of view.
"Eve, as I recall, is considered responsible for getting Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Which is to say, it's not just the fruit-it's data" (Stephenson, 232). This forbidden fruit is relatable to the virus, Snow Crash. L. Bob Rife planned on using Snow Crash to infect the world throughout the real world and the Metaverse. The good of the civilization and its people had to challenge the evil of Snow Crash to save everyone from the damage L. Bob Rife had in store.
The sword represents power in Snow Crash because not only did it protect Hiro from his enemies, but it brought on a lot of death. "When you are wrestling for possession of a sword, the man with the handle always wins" (p20). This quote demonstrates one of the many themes Neal Stephenson illustrated in his novel, Snow Crash: Power. Having the possession of the handle is like holding the fate in the situation. It symbolizes the potential that power can give someone. It can provide good and evil conflict. Power is very important in the book because it determines the amount of information, resources, and degree of freedom one is accessible to.
Utopia and Hythloday are products of Sir Thomas More's imagination. Both the book and the island of Utopia are fictional representations of More's thoughts that also incorporate truth and philosophy. This is also a sense of Good vs. Evil, the truth and philosophy being the good and the fiction being the evil. He creates a balance between the two when creating Utopia to achieve the happiness he desired. "Nobody owns anything, but everyone is rich-for what greater wealth can there be than cheerfulness, peace of mind, and freedom from anxiety?" (p. 128). More believes that by eliminating evil and value of money, people will be much happier and express a greater kindness that he would like to see in the real world. This can be seen in the image as the balance between two forces, in the novels case philosophy and fiction, to create success.
This image of an illusion represents the hidden secrets and personalities of many characters in Red Harvest. The novel not only expressed the theme of good versus evil by having criminals and enforcers, but there was a deeper sense of the theme. "Good" was seen in the town of Personville aka Poisonville's police force. Chief of police, Noonan, was a corrupt man. His evil came into play when he tried to wrongfully pin his brother's murder on Max Whisper Thaler. When the narrator/op sold him out at the peace conference, he knew the jig was up. Hammett explained, "He stared at me with dumbfounded eyes. He gaped. He couldn't understand what I had done to him" (147). He created a type of illusion to seem like a good guy, but in the end he was a sort of villain.
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