At its most basic level, “The Most Dangerous Beauty”, written by Michael Paterniti, is about the struggle between good and evil. However, this essay tells a story with a much more nuanced conflict rather than the traditional dichotomy between right and wrong. In the essay, David Williams, a professor teaching anatomical illustration, becomes infatuated with Pernkopf’s Atlas, a compendium of anatomical studies produced by Nazis and Nazi supporters. These intricate paintings that portray the human body as examples of the utmost perfection become an obsession for Williams. When allegations are made that the cadavers used to create the Atlas’ illustrations were obtained unethically, both Williams and the document became heavily scrutinized. Through this conflict, Paterniti explores the ethical dilemma of finding beauty in something...
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...anding an individual’s perspective on a subject is critical in appreciating their decision-making.
Paterniti, Michael. "The Most Dangerous Beauty." Occasions for Writing: Evidence, Idea, Essay. Wadsworth. 735-49. Print.
Forster, E.M. "On Not Looking at Pictures." Occasions for Writing: Evidence, Idea, Essay. Wadsworth. 706-08. Print.
Hildebrandt, Sabine. "How the Pernkopf Controversy Facilitated a Historical and Ehtical Analysis of the Anatomical Sciences in Austria and Germany: A Recommendation for the Continued Use of the Pernkopf Atlas." Clinical Anatomy (2006): 91-100. JSTOR. Web.
"Eleanor Roosevelt." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2012. 26 March. 2012. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eleanorroo133886.html
"Plato." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2012. 26 March. 2012. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato400440.html
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