The Once and Future King Social Sensitivity

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Because White's purpose was to show the cruelty of war and the evils of humanity, there is a great deal of fighting and lopping off of heads in the book.

Additionally, White's use of cruelty to animals as a device to reveal the villainy of his evil characters may disturb some readers. Queen Morgause boils a cat in an attempt to find a magical bone, and her sons brutally betray a unicorn and sever its head. However, these actions— appearing as they do in a book that celebrates the beauties of nature—are clearly used to establish certain characters as excessively vicious and depraved.

White does exhibit considerable cultural bias against people of Celtic descent, whom he depicts as incapable of logical thought. The Scots are the villains of the story, a plot element inherited from Malory. But White makes numerous negative references...

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This section contains 223 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Once and Future King Short Guide
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The Once and Future King from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.