Self Deception : A To Mankind

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Self-Deception: A Malignancy to Mankind Human nature is prone to folly; men misjudge, and are deceived by others, but also they deceive themselves. From the beginning of history it has been so, and even in the origin stories of man this key element takes a central role. In the Christian creation story Adam disobeys his god, but his motives for doing so are not elaborated upon. It is Eve who is explicitly shown being deceived. This deception is somewhat instigated by satan, but truly it is a deception of self that is the tipping point. Eve has been told that they must not eat the fruit, but despite the evidence of the wrongness of it and the consequences which will occur, she still partakes of this first sin because she allows herself to believe that it is not wrong or that there will not be repercussions. She convinces herself to believe falsely despite the reality of the situation, and antithetical evidence. I believe that Nathaniel Hawthorne would agree; throughout history men place a veil over their own eyes, they see what they want to see, and that this causes them to both destroy themselves, and what they love most. I believe that this theme of self-deception is prominent in Hawthorne’s short stories, particularly “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, and just as Giovanni ignored the signs and warnings surrounding Beatrice thereby allowing himself to be warped by the cruel and cunning Rappaccini, just as Adam and Eve deceived themselves in the Garden of Eden, all men are
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