What are some texts that have the theme of "good vs evil?" I need four more, including some movies, if possible. So far I have: Macbeth, Othello, Lord Of The Flies and To Kill A Mockingbird

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auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I agree that nearly every work ever written has the theme of good vs. evil somewhere in it. You have some great ones here, so I'll just add a few more stories, novels, or plays which also have movies of some kind made from them:

Lord of the Flies

A Separate Peace

Cyrano de Bergerac

A Raisin in the Sun

"The Lady, or the Tiger?"

 

 

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I really enjoy these types of texts because students realte so well. Here is my list:

Beowulf

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Monster- Myers

Frankenstein

The Lottery

A Streetcar Named Desire

Many of these texts have movies that accompany them. The only one that I have yet to find is Monster.


 

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Good versus Evil can be found in most of Charles Dickens's novels, especially when it comes to mean adults abusing the children of the workhouses in East London. Nicholas Nickleby is one of the ones that first come to mind.

Another good versus evil novel is certainly Wuthering Heights, evil being represented in the angry character of Heathcliff. From my favorite, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray is certainly a Gothic novel of temptation versus virtue. From Henry James we have  The Turn of the Screw, which portrays the corruption of innocence through the characters of Miss Jessel and Peter Quint, who presumably sexually abused and terrorized the children of the estate where they worked and, after their horrid deaths, come back to haunt the same children whom they horrified in life.

Good versus evil can manifest in many forms in literature. As you can see, it does not have to be a war of spirituality or metaphysics but of real evil versus innocence.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You might want to consider fantasy stories such as Lord of the Rings. This trilogy clearly presents us with the forces of good ranged against the forces of evil. In addition, there are plenty of classics which focus on a similar dichotomy, such as Vanity Fair, Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities. Each of these have characters that are clearly associated with "good," and characters who are associated with "evil." Out of those, I would suggest Oliver Twist would be an excellent example of good vs. evil.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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This is so wide-ranging a theme that aspects would be evident in most texts. Of Mice and Men could be said to show 'good' men like George oppressed by a 'bad' political andsocial setting. 1984 by George Orwell could be seen the same way. Shakespeare in his tragedies regularly uses the idea of an elevated 'good' character with a 'bad' flaw which brings about their downfall: like the brave hero Macbeth whose ambition drives him to regicide and mass murder.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Perhaps it would be easier to cite examples of literary works which do not explore the theme of good vs. evil.   Nevertheless, one salient example of this theme is John Steinbeck's East of Eden.  After all, the title itself suggests this, does it not?  An intriguing exploration of good/evil exists in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Ubervilles.  Interestingly, Hardy subtitled his novel of the tragic Tess who becomes pregnant after her distant cousin takes unfair advantage of her, A Pure Woman; his doing so created dilemmas for readers and critics alike ever since.  But, Hardy maintained that Tess's

...innate purity remained intact to the very last; though I frankly own that a certain outward purity left her on her last fall. I regarded her then as being in the hands of circumstances, not morally responsible, a mere corpse drifting with the current to her end.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

One text that portrays this theme is "The Most Dangerous Game."  In it, we are asked to consider what evil is.  Another short story that is centered around issues of good and evil and how evil comes about is "The Lottery."

A longer novel that also explores this theme (among others) is Brave New World.  That book explores the issue of what sorts of societal arrangements are good and which sorts are evil.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that you won't have any particular problems in finding relevant texts or connections that have the discussion of good and evil as part of their thematic developments.  I think that Miller's The Crucible, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984 are all examples of texts that represent the battle of good and evil in different forms.  In terms of film, I actually think that, humorously, the film, Mean Girls, shows good vs. evil on the adolescent level nicely.  On a more serious tip, might I suggest films like The Matrix or Casablanca as representations of good vs. evil.  Schindler's List is an excellent study of the moral battle between good and evil during the Holocaust, while in the most basic of ways films like Terminator 2, where there is a "good"  Terminator and a "bad" one could represent the same theme in a very formulaic manner.  I think that political dramas such as Hotel Rwanda show the idea that evil is present in so many ways and forms that the notion of good is under constant siege.  These are just a few and I am sure more will be added.

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zaraoverton | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

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I think that you won't have any particular problems in finding relevant texts or connections that have the discussion of good and evil as part of their thematic developments.  I think that Miller's The Crucible, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984 are all examples of texts that represent the battle of good and evil in different forms.  In terms of film, I actually think that, humorously, the film, Mean Girls, shows good vs. evil on the adolescent level nicely.  On a more serious tip, might I suggest films like The Matrix or Casablanca as representations of good vs. evil.  Schindler's List is an excellent study of the moral battle between good and evil during the Holocaust, while in the most basic of ways films like Terminator 2, where there is a "good"  Terminator and a "bad" one could represent the same theme in a very formulaic manner.  I think that political dramas such as Hotel Rwanda show the idea that evil is present in so many ways and forms that the notion of good is under constant siege.  These are just a few and I am sure more will be added.

thanks, you've helped me out big time!

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