C(ecil) P(hillip) Taylor Robert Brustein - Essay

Robert Brustein

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The difficulty with [Good] … is that it poses an all-too-familiar question and then completely fails to grapple with it.

The question is how generally ordinary and relatively decent people could have participated in or even tolerated Nazism, and I wonder if it needs to be asked again. Hannah Arendt first brought it up in her book on Eichmann; that perfectly normal family man, Rudolph Hess, who was also commandant of Auschwitz, provided some answers in his memoirs; Hochuth's The Deputy carried the question to the stage and Styron's Sophie's Choice to the novel; it was even mentioned in Bent, Martin Sherman's play about homosexual prisoners in the concentration camp. Mr....

(The entire section is 456 words.)