Pandora's Box: Hope and the impacts of war

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

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Recommended citation

Patron, M-C. (2017). Pandora's Box: Hope and the impacts of war. In M-C. Patron, R. Wildeboer, & A. Rokach (Eds.), Women and war: Opening Pandora's Box - Intimate relationships in the shadow of traumatic experiences (pp. 33-50). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

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©2017 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc


Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-53610-665-7, E-book ISBN: 978-1-53610-678-7


In an effort to unpack the convoluted themes that are inherent in the concepts of good and evil which were represented through Pandora's Box, and to unravel the voluminous historical literature on WWII and the Vietnam War, this chapter will be presented in two parts. I shall provide a framework on which to situate the narratives of this book, predicated on a review of extant literature that has been put forward by philosophers and war historians. Firstly, Part 1, entitled Pandora's Box: Hope and Evil: Strange Bedfellows features an abridged version of Hesiod's account of the Myth of Pandora's Box, considered to be the most prominent available. This section also contains a reflection on the philosophical perspectives articulated on the concepts of evil or despair, juxtaposed with hope and good that assist in underpinning the recurring themes emerging form our book.

In Part 2, The Legacies of War, in an attempt to demystify the socio-political and cultural decisions that led to WWII, and to situate them in the context of our book, I present an expose in layman terms, of a brief history and the impacts of wars on generations of people who have suffered untold miseries and continue to do so today. The sequences of nefarious events and circumstances that have led to war will be included to provide perspective on the consequences that have ultimately provoked an indelible impact on the lives of countless individuals over many decades. As Co-Editor, Roni Wildeboer, the wife of a returned Vietnam Veteran, has devoted a considerable part of her chapter to the Vietnam War, I focus only briefly at the end of this chapter, on the problematic issues concerning the Vietnam War, in order to elucidate how the contentious debates surrounding this long, drawn out war fuelled outrage among the returned war Veterans and subsequently, their wives and families.

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