Moral Dilemma Essay

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A moral dilemma is to be placed in a situation which involves conflicts between moral requirements. These situations have a very apparent conflict between moral imperatives such that obeying one will result in transgressing the other.

This paper will demonstrate choices, tragedy, respect, individuality, and values in the following stories: The Moose and The Sparrow by Hugh Garner, The Yellow Sweater by Hugh Garner, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, The Painted Door by Sinclair Ross, and David by Earle Birney

A choice is something one must make frequently throughout each and every day of ones lifetime. Some choices may be easier to make than others. One must choose to get out of bed each morning, what someone wants to eat or drink, whom one should converse with. Other choices may not quite be as simple to make, or the choices I make throughout my life may be easy choices to me, but to someone else those choices would be very hard to make. For instance, young Cecil had to make many choices in the story “The Moose and The Sparrow”. Cecil chose to stay at the camp even though he was being bullied constantly by Moose Mason. “He said he’d made up his mind to stick it out until his time was up” (page 4, lines 23-24) As much as Moose was physically harming Cecil, Cecil did stick to his commitment to the lumber camp and continued to earn his money for university. He was a tough young man inside of his sparrow-like shell to put up with all of Moose’s bullying, and Cecil made a justifiable choice to stop Moose by killing him.

In the story “The Yellow Sweater” Marie chose to leave her aunt Bernice’s house as Bernice’s husband was obviously abusing Marie. Marie Chose to pack up her things to move to the city, but she didn’t hitchhike like other people leaving the small town she was living in. Marie simply chose to walk, but when Tom pulled over on the side of the road, Marie chose to get into the car not knowing what kind of person she would be traveling with or if she would arrive safely to her destination. “She opened the right rear door, saying at the same time, “Thank you sir,” in a frightened little voice.” (page 3,lines 7-9)

Tom made some choices too. He chose to pick up this young girl plodding along the side of the highway, when he would never pick up a hitchhiker before. Tom chose to pick Marie up because “it might be fun to pick her up, to cross-examine her while she was trapped in the seat beside him.” ( page 2, lines 76- 78) Tom also chose to keep his real identity hidden from Marie, hoping that he could use her for sex, so he gave her a fictitious name, “When he drew out his wallet to pay the checks he was careful to cover the initials G.G.M. with the palm of his hand.” (page 4 lines 54 - 56)

In the story “The Necklace” Monsieur Loisel chose to give up the 400 francs he was saving for a new rifle to buy her a beautiful dress to wear on their evening out “He grew a little pale, for he was reserving just that sum to buy a gun and treat himself to a little shooting, the next summer, on the plain of Nanterre, with some friends who used to shoot larks there on Sundays. But he said:- ‘All right, I will give you four hundred francs. But take care to have a pretty dress.’ ” (page 2 lines 27-29) Mathilde chose not to tell Mme. Forester that the necklace she lent to her was lost. Instead, M. Loisel told his wife to write her a letter. “ You must write to your friend,” he said, “that you have broken the clasp of her necklace and that you are having it repaired. That will give us time to turn around.” She wrote as he dictated.” (page 4 lines 84-86) Instead of coming clean and telling Mme. Forester what really happened to her necklace, M. and Mme. Loisel chose to just go into debt and work hard to pay for a new necklace to replace the lost one. Finally one Sunday came and Mme. Loisel saw Mme Forester and decided to speak to her. “ Mme. Loisel felt moved. Should she speak to her? Yes, certainly. And now that...
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