5 March 2012
The Samurai’s Garden
Everything starts with a baby’s first words, laughs, and experiences. Eventually, they begin their first steps and first thoughts, but their simplicity in life slowly unravels and as they mature they begin to morally develop. This moral growth can be charted with psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development. In his theory, Kohlberg describes six stages in which a person can be classified in. In Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development there are six stages which a person can be categorized based on how a person makes decisions. For example, stage one in his Theory of Moral Development, is when a person makes decisions based on fear of punishment not because it would hurt them, much like a child thinking about touching something hot who would avoid it because they would be yelled at or punished by a parent not because they would get burned. Next, stage two is where a person makes decisions based upon what they will receive in return. However, a person who makes decisions based upon peer pressure or makes decisions to please someone that person would be placed in stage three. A person in stage four makes decisions based on their “black and white” view on law. Furthermore, stage five is when a person makes decisions not based merely on law but for the benefit of a group of people. Lastly, stage six is similar to stage five; however it is not only for the benefit of a group of people but for the betterment of mankind and will risk anything including their lives to do so. Examples of this moral development can be found in the novel The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. In the novel, Stephen is a young man who is diagnosed with tuberculosis and leaves his home in Hong Kong to go to his deceased grandfather’s beach house in Tarumi, Japan. His only company is the servant of the household named Matsu who at first does not open up to Stephen but later becomes his friend. Stephen’s life in Japan...