So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed


Jon Ronson

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Dave Eshelman Character Analysis

Dave Eshelman gained notoriety as a member of Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment. Eshelman appeared to go off the rails during the experiment, violently persecuting his fellow “inmates” during the experiment. But when Ronson spoke with Eshelman, Eshelman revealed that he’d only been acting the way he believed Zimbardo wanted him to.

Dave Eshelman Quotes in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed quotes below are all either spoken by Dave Eshelman or refer to Dave Eshelman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead Books edition of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed published in 2016.
Chapter 5 Quotes

All these people had […] come together spontaneously, without leadership. I wasn’t one of them. But I’d piled on plenty of people like Justine. I’d been beguiled by the new technology—a toddler crawling toward a gun. Just like with Dave Eshelman, it was the desire to do something good that had propelled me. Which was definitely a better thing to be propelled by than group madness. But my desire had taken a lot of scalps—I’d torn apart a lot of people I couldn’t now remember—which made me suspect that it was coming from some very weird dark well, some place I really didn't want to think about.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Dave Eshelman, Justine Sacco
Related Symbols: Twitter
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dave Eshelman Character Timeline in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The timeline below shows where the character Dave Eshelman appears in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Man Descends Several Rungs in the Ladder of Civilization
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon Ronson that the experiment was, in fact, uneventful. Only one of the guards, Dave Eshelman, had seemed to truly go off the rails. So Ronson contacted Eshelman—who then bragged to... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
...him, but Ronson did receive an email from Zimbardo himself, in which Zimbardo insisted that Eshelman didn’t do anything good. In fact, Zimbardo asserted, Eshelman singlehandedly created an “evil environment.” Ronson... (full context)