Evil as Flight from Narcissistic Boredom

  • Daryl Koehn

Abstract

When we first meet Tom Ripley, the favorite protagonist of novelist Patricia Highsmith, we do not suspect that he is a serial killer in the making. Granted, he is involved in a bit of mail fraud. However, he never cashes any of the checks he receives. He appears personable and friendly enough. When Herbert Greenleaf asks Tom to go to Italy and to persuade his son Dickie to return home, Tom readily agrees, telling himself that he can do the senior Greenleaf a good turn. He appears to want little from life but the chance to see Europe and to acquire some culture.

Keywords

Serial Killer Genuine Reason Italian Police Good Turn Plausible Deniability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), passim.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
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  3. 8.
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    Patricia Highsmith, Ripley’s Game ( New York: Vintage Books, 1993 ), pp. 8–28.Google Scholar
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    Gertrude Stein, Everybody’s Autobiography ( New York: Exact Change, 2004 ), p. 289.Google Scholar
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    Daryl Koehn, The Ground of Professional Ethics ( London: Routledge, 1994 ), pp. 20–28.Google Scholar
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    Andrew Delbanco, The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil ( New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1998 ), p. 27.Google Scholar
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    Wendy Lesser, Pictures at an Execution: An Inquiry into the Subject of Murder ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993 ), p. 67.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Daryl Koehn 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daryl Koehn

There are no affiliations available

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