A Coffin for Dimitrios Themes

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Civilization versus Violence

Latimer is a civilized man from a civilized society. He comes from a university, a bastion of thought and consideration. He writes moralistic detective stories, where the world is neat and tidy, detectives use logic and intellect, and where villains and murderers get their just punishments. The worldview of Latimer is embodied by the League of Nations, which comes to the humanitarian rescue of dying Greek refugees from Turkey, indicating that reason and humanity can conquer war and tragedy.

Dimitrios is the literary foil of Latimer; his opposite. Dimitrios represents the uncivilized, violent, animalistic nature of man. He is spawned in the midst of horrors inflicted by man against man. Dimitrios's worldview is not one of cooperation. Instead, Dimitrios lives for himself alone, and he is willing to stab anyone in the back to protect himself. He murders and robs to gain the money to leave...

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This section contains 839 words
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Buy the A Coffin for Dimitrios Study Guide
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