What were the post -war judgements of the war & Holocaust in Sophie's Choice and what does this say about society?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One post war judgement rendered through Styron's work is the understanding of evil and the need to assert critical voices towards it at every possible opportunity.  The Post World War America felt placated by being able to defeat the Axis powers, believing that evil had been destroyed.  There was little in way of analysis about how this evil came about, whether America was complicity in it, and where other aspects of such evil exist within its own boundaries.  The novel illustrates that inhumanity can never be stopped if it is located away from one's own experience.  Characters in the novel are able to see evil away from their own sense of self, without understanding that it exists within a subjective realm. When individuals act with the same abuse of power as forces that have been deemed as socially acceptable examples of "evil," malevolence still exists, albeit in a local and more personalized form.  The novel concludes that for real change, there has to be a shedding of this denial and localizing it within ourselves and causing a valid examination of how it is replicated in our own spheres.  The same fight for justice and equality that should have been vigorously fought for Jewish individuals is applicable to people of color and women's voices as well as individuals of different sexual orientation in America.  The same clamoring for change in the ways of Nazi cruelty are heard in domestic violence situations where terror is used to cause victimization.  The strata of power and the abuses of it are not isolated from us, but rather are located close to us and there has to be an acknowledgment, real examination, and understanding in order to create true and meaningful change.