EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica
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4 answers
11 votes
7k views
Is there really a nuclear war in the world of "The Lord of the Flies"?
8 votes

It's admittedly been a little while since I read the book, but I don't think that we have to assume that it was nuclear. The book is quite explicit that there was some kind of war, and the implication ...

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1 answers
3 votes
96 views
Why do Ayn Rand's novels present specific, real things in a context designed to make them appear frivolous or ridiculous?
6 votes

WRT the "grapefruit incident", Cuffy Meigs ordered the Comet taken off the schedule for two days in order to have it pick up some grapefruit: "And he's cancelled a coal train in order ...

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1 answers
5 votes
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What does "entailment" mean in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?
6 votes

According to The Free Dictionary, the word "entail" means: To abridge, settle, or limit succession to real property. An estate whose succession is limited to certain people rather than being passed ...

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1 answers
6 votes
199 views
Was Ellsworth Toohey's public speaking style modeled after Harold Laski?
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6 votes

The Journals of Ayn Rand (p. 113 in my edition) cite the following comments from an interview she gave in 1961: Laski was the soul of Ellsworth Toohey in the flesh. After seeing Laski, I just had ...

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3 answers
9 votes
665 views
Why are there so many references to Moneylenders and Jews in 19th century fiction?
6 votes

Sorry to be brief, I'm writing this on a phone (more to follow later). Short answer: for a long time, usury rules generally forbade Catholics from lending money at interest to other Catholics. ...

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2 answers
8 votes
726 views
Why wasn't O'Brien considered a thought criminal?
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6 votes

One of the primary ways that the Party differs from other dictatorships is that they know full well what they are doing (seeking power for its own sake), so it's perfectly natural that O'Brien would ...

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6 votes
3k views
Why does O'Brien claim that the party didn't believe in solipsism?
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6 votes

"Classic" solipsism states that only one's own mind can be certain to exist. It's at least partially an attempted solution to the problem of other minds: given that we can only observe other peoples' ...

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1 answers
6 votes
2k views
Why does Emmanuel Goldstein's book in 1984 have a title page?
5 votes

First, it's worth noting that the cover itself didn't have a title, which would help to cover up the title page. Goldstein's book is described as A heavy black volume, amateurishly bound, with no ...

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2 answers
14 votes
2k views
Is Deeper Magic something more than God (the Emperor beyond the Sea) in Narnia?
5 votes

A few thoughts here: First, it's actually a little more subtle than to say that Narnia is a strict allegory. C. S. Lewis's intent (and some people, such as @Hamlet, would argue that that's not really ...

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1 answers
5 votes
184 views
What is Krosyn?
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4 votes

It turns out that I should have read the introduction more carefully. Krosyn was, in fact, a small village in Belarus. From the anthology's introduction: In 1828, when a liberalminded Catholic priest ...

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2 answers
3 votes
101 views
Use of the word "tyke" in American English, as it is used in "Gathering Blue"
4 votes

"Tyke" is simply a word for a small child. That's why, for example, Little Tykes is a brand of children's toys.

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2 answers
4 votes
230 views
Understanding the 2018 and 2019 Nobel prizes
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Just to add a subtly here, "encyclopedic knowledge" doesn't just refer to vast knowledge, it refers to comprehensive knowledge. (You could have lots of knowledge about a very narrow topic, but that ...

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1 answers
12 votes
375 views
Did Heller base his sarcastic swipe at academia on any actual example?
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4 votes

Unless I'm missing something, after sifting through Google for awhile I haven't been able to discover any other usages of the term other than in the book. Even searches of Google Scholar and various ...

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2 answers
6 votes
202 views
What are we supposed to learn about the reality in "Atlas Shrugged" from "The Vulture is Molting"?
4 votes

Immediately before this, Dagny had learned (much to her chagrin) that Dick McNamara had inexplicably vanished right before he was supposed to start work on the Rio Norte/John Galt Line. There was no ...

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4 votes
450 views
Isn't Ayn Rand a bit irrational in her criticism of altrusim in The Fountainhead?
4 votes

First, as a disclaimer, I actually don't agree with objectivism, but I'll try to summarize her position/arguments here. I think that this represents at least some of the arguments and claims that she ...

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1 answers
10 votes
413 views
Does C. S. Lewis support annihilationism in The Last Battle?
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4 votes

I don't have the book in front of me right now, but Aslan makes it clear in The Magician's Nephew that animals could go back to being "dumb" beasts. In fact, there are several examples of this in the ...

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1 answers
4 votes
84 views
How to Improve Reading Abilities
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3 votes

Some of these (Hobbes, Smith, Russel) tend to be fairly technical in nature, so part of the complexity is the reading and part of the complexity is the ideas themselves. That being said, it's totally ...

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5 votes
377 views
Paradise Lost pagan gods
3 votes

Related: Is John Milton's Lucifer a tragic hero? One interesting feature of Paradise Lost is that the demons are presented as multi-dimensional, complicated characters - likely even more so than ...

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1 answers
3 votes
416 views
Why did Ellsworth Toohey advise people against doing what they really wanted when he was a career advisor?
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3 votes

The key part of the quote is: It was said that Ellsworth Toohey had exercised a beneficent influence upon them - for they never forgot him: they came to consult him on many things, years later, ...

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1 answers
3 votes
312 views
How much did Eddie Willers understand about his situation by the end of Atlas Shrugged?
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3 votes

He actually understood a fair amount about his situation towards the end of the book. His feeling here is at least partially represented by a giant calendar that a mayor had had erected over the city ...

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1 answers
13 votes
589 views
Why don't people in the Chronicles of Narnia have trouble "transitioning" back to their old life after extended times in other worlds?
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3 votes

Related: Why did people appear to remember what was going on at the time they left England when they returned from Narnia? The books aren't very explicit on this point, so here are a few ...

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1 answers
4 votes
53 views
What was Fred Kinnan gaining from his racket?
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3 votes

Related: How much of the Looters' philosophy did Fred Kinnan actually accept? I think that the key phrase here comes at the end of that speech: "...Sure, it makes me sick sometimes, it makes ...

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1 answers
6 votes
230 views
If Joseph's coat is so important, why does it get ignored for most of the musical?
3 votes

At least some of the plot emphasis probably reflects the underlying text: really, the text only mentions the coat twice: first, when Jacob gave it to him (Genesis 37:3), secondly, when Joseph visits ...

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4 answers
66 votes
10k views
What is Hobbes?
3 votes

Related question on Sci Fi SE: Did Calvin ever realise that Hobbes was not real? I do realize that this is a somewhat old question, but I'm first going to challenge the premise of the question a ...

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2 answers
5 votes
233 views
Why did Owen Kellogg have a practical need for physics but Dagney didn't?
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3 votes

A few possible answers: It's not logical - this is a genuine mistake. Owen Kellogg was planning on going into a different profession. (I don't think that that one is the most likely explanation ...

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1 answers
4 votes
570 views
Why did Dunbar consider a life of intentional boredom worth living?
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3 votes

One possible answer is that he simply doesn't think about that - that's part of the irony. He doesn't know exactly why he wants to live for a long time, just that he does, and that intentional boredom ...

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3 answers
5 votes
756 views
Why didn't Josef K. simply ignore the summons?
3 votes

Kafka didn't technically finish the book, but it's worth noting that at the ending, Agents executed Josef K. This suggests that whatever agency was doing the prosecution had at least some capacity to ...

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1 answers
2 votes
386 views
How does the justice system work in Harry Potter?
3 votes

Very closely related (on Science Fiction SE): Why did the wizarding society seem to have such a weak view of civil rights? Following the answers there, people that were sent to prison without trials (...

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3 answers
12 votes
532 views
Is there any evidence that this character in Harry Potter was a double agent all along, prior to the revelation?
3 votes

It depends on what you mean by "all along." Snape was actually working for Voldemort, and then after he realized that Voldemort intended to kill the Potters he became loyal to Dumbledore and ...

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3 votes
282 views
Was Francisco d'Anconia's deliberate destruction of his competitors counterproductive to the purpose of the Strike?
2 votes

In addition to the good points that @jo1storm made, I'll add a few thoughts. I think that the largest point is that Francisco d'Anconia was following the morality of the day to the hilt. He had the ...

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