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The “banality of evil” is among the best-known claims of Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem. Explain and evaluate how Arendt defends this claim. Begin by clarifying what Arendt means by the “banality of evil” as well as “thoughtlessness” and “judgment” (pp. 287-289, 294-297); then, discuss how Arendt creates a historically based portrait of Eichmann to support her argument (relevant examples include pp. 32-35 [Chapter 2]; pp. 47-50, 51-55 [Chapter 3]; pp. 85-89, 90-93, 95-97 [Chapter 6]; pp. 135-137, 146-150 [Chapter 8]); and, thirdly, articulate what you consider the most plausible way of expanding her argument beyond the narrow parameters of her “report.”


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