Is the character of Sunday a bad person in The Man Who Was Thursday? Why or why not?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Man Who Was Thursday, the character of Sunday is not a bad person.  He is clever, and by the end of the novel, the reader learns that he has been the one who has masterminded the entire scheme to find the real anarchist among them who turns out to be Gregory.  Sunday forces the other members of the council to put up a daring chase for him; in the end he has them all gather and dress in garb that represents their day's place in the world.  He posits himself as the Sabbath and appears all dressed in white, urging the men to get their strength for the coming week.  So although Sunday is a coarse, mysterious character, he is not bad--at least in terms of the book's plot.

dixon349 | Student

When considering the actions of a certain character, ask the question, "Does the end justify the means?"

In other words, do Sunday’s actions bring about a positive outcome? In this case, yes: he exposes the true anarchist.

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote that "the ends justify the means". Typically, this quote is misinterpreted as any action, no matter how unethical or immoral, can be justified for the purpose of any reasonable or needed outcome. However, Machiavelli suggested and supported this pragmatic philosophy only for the purpose of stabilizing and improving governments. Machiavelli specifically stated that this philosophy could not be ethically used by individuals for personal greed, profit, or self improvement.

Machiavelli's pragmatic theory may help answer future questions about the character's personality and the good versus evil question.

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The Man Who Was Thursday

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