Dead Men Do Tell Tales Themes

William R. Maples
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The Macabre and Evil

Early in the book, Maples makes clear that many of the cases he will focus on in the book will demonstrate the profound wickedness that human beings are capable of. He mentions that he was not raised in a religious home and has no expertise in the matter of evil's origin. While Maples claims that he does not accept a theological or biological explanation of evil, he notes that something seems absolutely authentic and awful about it despite its environmental origins. Thus, the stories of evil are stories where he holds individuals responsible and rejoices at using forensic anthropology not only to imprison them but to force them to relive their crimes.

However, "evil" is not a specific enough category. Many of Maples's cases dip into the macabre. For instance, he discusses the methods by which individuals dispose of bodies. Hacking up limbs is hard...

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This section contains 801 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dead Men Do Tell Tales Study Guide
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