Science vs. Abuse of Power

In George Saunders’ Escape from Spiderhead, the readers are introduced to the drug experimentation that certain criminals are subjected to. In his story, Saunders creates a justice system in which certain criminals are used as human test subjects for various new drugs. The main two proponents of this experimentation mentioned in the story are Abnesti and Verlaine. Abnesti constantly tries to justify his actions as for the common good and for scientific drug advancement. On page 67, Abnesti speaks regarding the original data from the first Darkenfloxx trial, stating “‘Well, that was good enough for me,’ he said. ‘But apparently not good enough for the Protocol Committee… we’re going to need to do a kind of Confirmation Trial.'” This affirms the notion the Abnesti is concerned with scientific advancement, but the mental torture he inflict upon Heather implies that he is more concerned with keeping his power.

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