Great Books Midterm
Evil & Power In After the Ball, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and On Evil, Guilt, and Power In these three pieces we have read there is a strong thread of evil and power separately throughout each of them and also how evil and power play a role when the other is present. Each piece views evil and power differently but also has common ideas. A common idea in each piece is that power can be good or evil depending on the factors involved.
Nietzsche wrote that power is happiness and this is true in all three pieces as well as in real life, people are always working to have ore control and be trusted with more power Power dictates good, bad, and evil. Power itself is Just something that exists but once a person obtains power it can become good or evil. In “After the Ball” Verbena’s father, a colonel in the military, is someone with great power. He uses his power to brutally punish the tartar which one may consider evil. Does an act of evil make a person evil?
I think that evil is something that can consume someone, once they have done enough evil they themselves become evil. In “After the Ball” power appears to be an evil thing, meeting that is given to a person who must act however they must to suit the part. As a colonel in the military Verbena’s father must complete the duties he is given. Punishing the tartar was a Job that had to have been done by Verbena’s father or by someone else. Once Ivan saw this he made the decision to no Join the military. Seeing that he could one day be standing in the potion made him realize he didn’t want to be a part of something like that.
I don’t believe power is evil but it does have the potential to become evil. In “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Allan slowly falls into a deep depression and allows evil to take over. “Pearl spit first clear fluids. Then blood. ” (138) Élan’s magic was no longer good, the spell he was trying to complete had turned into a curse. Allan had not excepted he had true power he doubted it. Nietzsche argued that power is about control. This stands to be true in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, Allan had let the power he take control of him because he doubted that he had had power at all.
When Allan had an awakening moment seeing his father he realized hat he must take control of the power he had and allow magic to be a part of him the way the way white magic should be. Nietzsche argued that power is used to dictate the good the bad and the evil. When given great power people will use that power in one of these way. “It is only a question of strength” (66) This point Nietzsche makes is very important and I think it is very true and applies a lot when it comes to power and evil.
A person must be strong and prepared to handle large amounts of power or that power will be too much for them and the power will control them and loud create evil. In “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” the sorcerer had not given Allan lessons on magic right away he had first had Allan completing chores. I believe this was to make Allan appreciate the power he was being given from the sorcerer and respect it and that way it wouldn’t take him over. This didn’t work because Allan had the wrong intentions from the beginning. He was not strong enough to see past wanting to do good and make his father proud.
He did eventually find strength from Nils Tanner when en realize Nils Tanner was already proud AT ml. Nile power can become bad or evil when sought after in the right way power can be happiness. Nietzsche argues that power is happiness. In life people are always working to have more power more responsibility, happiness comes from life goals being reached. Goals of power everything we strive for is power. Does this mean that power is essentially happiness. In “After the Ball” Ivan views Verbena’s father very highly at first because of his position as colonel in the military.
Verbena’s father seems to be very happy and have a full life. Later Ivan sees the colonel punishing the tartar and realizes that his power isn’t fulfilled happiness but instead a route of evil. Having the power the colonel has bring evil into his life and makes him do bad things. Ivan tried to see reason behind the acts of the colonel but eventually sees that he must do these things because of the power he has. Tolstoy doesn’t show power as happiness unlike Nietzsche. In “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Johnny’s shows that power can be good or bad depending. Power can cause happiness or can be a person’s downfall.
Allan is given a great amount of potential power from Rubin but because he doubts his own power it becomes his downfall. Once Allan has a realization with his father he finally is able to grasp his own power and from then on have happiness from it. I think that power can be happiness but it can also be evil. Without responsibility power will become evil. Achieving power is all about taking baby steps and earning the power you receive. In “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Allan didn’t appreciate the power he received from Rubin, he didn’t really want the power to do white magic, he anted to be able to do good to make his father proud of him.
Because of this the power became evil. It is when you work for the power you receive that it is happiness. Tolstoy, Johnson, and Nietzsche all show a common thread of evil and power and how these two things are incorporated in each other. Each piece shows this differently but also has similarities throughout. Power will always exists in everyone’s lives it is what drives people, everyone’s experience with it will be different either bring good or evil into their lives.