The People in the Trees Themes & Motifs

Hanya Yanagihara
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The Morality of Science

Virtually from its opening words, the narrative argues that the positive values and consequences of scientific research are of such relative value that any costs that result are ultimately insignificant. Human costs, socio-cultural costs, environmental costs – all, in the narrative’s perspective, are less significant than the gaining of knowledge, whether that knowledge actually improves the human condition or not.

This argument is made initially in the comments of the first of the book’s narrators, Dr. Ronald Kubodera, who maintains that the professional and scientific accomplishments his colleague and friend, Dr. Norton Perina, are more important than the criminal and personal damage he has done to, among others, the children in his care. This claim is echoed by Perina himself in the autobiographical narration that makes up most of the narrative: no matter what Perina the person has done, both men argue...

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This section contains 2,021 words
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Buy The People in the Trees Study Guide
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