"We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion."- D&C 121:39
The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullmam. The Astonishing Live of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, by M.T. Anderson.
I'm not much of a literary critic... but there was a rather pervasive theme in these two books that has stuck with me. In both stories you see first hand horrible things that are done by those who have the power to those who have been disenfranchised. In The Golden Compass it is children (particularly the children of the lower classes), who are kidnapped and experimented upon as the people in charge try to find a way to cleanse humans of original sin. In Octavian Nothing, it is a child of African Descent, who is made a glorified lab animal to be studied 'in the name of science' and 'for the good of mankind'.
In both books, the people in authority have been successful in at least one thing: they have convinced themselves that the end justifies the means, and their work is of benefit to society as a whole.
I don't have any profound epiphanies about these themes, or personal experiences or ponderings... just something that has been on my mind lately.
btw... I am almost done with The Subtle Knife (the sequel to The Golden Compass) and have been thrilled and astounded. It was even better than the first. I can't wait to start The Amber Spyglass (which, apparently is the most controversial of the three books.)