A Book of American Martyrs Themes & Motifs

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Hypocrisy

Oates uses the theme of hypocrisy to expose the lack of empathy for others in the abortion debate. She does not use this theme to draw a moral equivalency between the arguments, or to prove that each side is equal in their hypocrisy. Instead, the hypocrisy within the political movements she explores and the characters’ perspectives she tells demonstrates the humanity and lack of empathy missing from the American abortion debate writ large.

Oates writes the theme of hypocrisy to intersect with the tension between the secular and sacred law. This raises the question of whether a movement is hypocritical, if their actions do not reflect the law as they think it should be. Each side claims to be on the morally correct side while declaring their own side as the correct type of law, when in truth the law that governs mankind is much more...

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This section contains 3,630 words
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Buy the A Book of American Martyrs Study Guide
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