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Written by Via Romano
"'A demon can get into real trouble, doing the right thing." He nudged the angel. "Funny if we both got it wrong, eh? Funny if I did the good thing and you did the bad one, eh?'"
This quote plays with the idea of preconceived notions, a central theme to Good Omens. Here, Crowley is commenting on the fact that he is expected to be bad simply because he is a demon, and that Aziraphale is expected to be good because he is an angel. By suggesting that they have reversed their roles and done the opposite of what is expected of them, Crowley is playing with the preconceived roles of good and evil and subverting them.
"It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people."
We see the themes of moral relativity and free will present in this quote. In it, the narrator is saying that human beings are not innately good or bad, and that holding them to these standards eliminates a lot of the complexity of human nature. This quote also references free will, the idea that humans are free to make both good and bad decisions, and attributes the most important events in human history to it.
"There were people who called themselves Satanists who made Crowley squirm. It wasn't just the things they did, it was the way they blamed it all on Hell. They'd come up with some stomach‑churning idea that no demon could have thought of in a thousand years, some dark and mindless unpleasantness that only a fully‑functioning human brain could conceive, then shout "The Devil Made Me Do It" and get the sympathy of the court when the whole point was that the Devil hardly ever made anyone do anything. He didn't have to. That was what some humans found hard to understand. Hell wasn't a major reservoir of evil, any more than Heaven, in Crowley's opinion, was a fountain of goodness; they were just sides in the great cosmic chess game."
Here, Crowley is pointing out how humans have just as much, if not more, capacity for evil as demons do. This capacity reflects the theme of preconceived notions, because no matter how evil the deed is, people can get off free by blaming the devil. This works because there is the notion that the devil and hell are the ultimate sources of evil and that all truly evil ideas must originate there and not in the minds of humans who could not possibly be as evil. This quote flips that idea around, stating that the real evil is in the human mind.
"I don't see what's so triflic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset 'cos they act like people," said Adam severely. "Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive."
Here, Adam Young is discussing the idea of free will and advocating for it. He points out that there is no point to giving people free will if they aren't supposed to exercise it. Rejecting the notion that the only acceptable decision for human beings is the "good" one, Adam proposes more of a moral relativity, suggesting that it is ok to make whatever choice one wants. He also pushes back against the notion of divine intervention, pointing out how it demotivates people and makes them put off solving their problems in the current in hopes that someone higher up than them will take care of it.
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Study Guide for Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The Good Omens study guide contains a biography of authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Essays for Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a neo-gothic book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Good Omens written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.