outright evil ourselves

flyingcat2008

Senior Member
china,chino
What is more, those who choose not to empathise may enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, trhough our own apathy.

JK Rowling Harvard Commencement Address


Hi, everyone:

I don't understand what's the meaning of " outright evil ourselves". preposition "of" should followed by verb,or noun, but outright evil ourselves is neither of them. outright is adj, evil is noun, ourselves is pronoun.

Please help me....guys~
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    You need to look at this differently, For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves,

    What might be committed is "An act of outright evil", and even though we ourselves never commit it, we collude ....
    Here, evil is used as a noun and outright is an intensifying adjective.
     

    flyingcat2008

    Senior Member
    china,chino
    Oh, I see. Thanks~~

    But now one more question,,,
    "For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, trhough our own apathy." Can you explain the meaning more? For me, It's a little difficult to grasp the meaning:

    In my opinon, it means: if we don't act evilly, we'll collude with evil?? But it seems not logical. You see~~
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Apathy here means we don't do anything: we ignore evil and those who commit evil. If we don't do anything, we are not fighting evil, so we indirectly do evil.
     

    flyingcat2008

    Senior Member
    china,chino
    Let me see:

    so that is to say "for without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves"=if we are no fighting evil??
     
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