All that I am : a novel : and Mother courage: an exegesis

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2012
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. This thesis contains 3rd party copyright material. ----- This work is about courage. It is in two parts: a novel and an exegesis. The novel is closely based on real people and real events. It follows the fate of five anti-Hitler activists who had to leave Germany as soon as Hider came to power in 1933. They went into exile in London, from where, contrary to British law and in danger from the Gestapo, they continued their activities against the regime. In March 1935 two of them, women flatmates, were found poisoned in the locked bedroom of their flat in Bloomsbury. The novel reconstructs the lives of political exiles in London at a time when the threat Germany posed to them, and to the world, was not being taken seriously. It shows in intimate detail how people of conscience can and will risk their lives to prevent the suffering of their countrymen and women under a tyrant. The work is particularly focussed on the point at which a person knows that they are likely to be killed for what they are doing, but continues anyway. The exegesis is a challenge to the definition of courage in the Western philosophical canon. That definition, based on military ideas of courage, does not fit the activities of people of conscience who defy those in power. Based on wide-ranging reading of philosophy, and recent studies of moral behaviour in upper primates, the exegesis offers a new way of thinking about the kind of courage evinced by people who will sacrifice themselves for the good of their society.
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