Morality of Individual Principles in the American Rebel

Topics: Morality, Prison, Personality psychology Pages: 3 (934 words) Published: September 28, 2008
Highly structured rules and laws about the decisions people choose to make have been an essential part of life since prehistoric times. These rules and laws, in which the foundation of society is built upon, are considered to be the basic direction of how to act and exist among one another. An example of this type of law is the governmental laws in which many follow every day, but in reality these laws are established from one’s moral beliefs. Morality is a set of beliefs, normalized internally and by society. It assists individuals in determining the rightness or wrongness of their actions. The most important reason why both Randle Patrick McMurphy, and Andy Dufresne were exceptionally successful American rebel protagonist is due to their morality of individual principles. McMurphy tends to be very dependent on his pleasure seeking orientation. Pleasure seeking orientation is defined by looking out for one’s self interest. The person typically commits the action because it can benefit them self. Loyalty, gratitude, and justice are irrelevant. On the contrary, Mr. Dufresne is reliant on his social contract orientation. Social contract orientation is defined by a person’s ability to uphold a social contract that is formed by a society. It states that if everyone follows the rules then everyone will be safe. The effects of the two moral orientations that the two men choose to follow are clearly evident when observing the situations that they encounter. McMurphy’s first stage in his pleasure seeking orientation begins when he decided to get discharged from the United States Marines for insubordination, participate in street fights, and commit rape. From this point and throughout the book McMurphy’s is shown as being self beneficial. A person with a morality that is dependent on what is right or wrong would consider lying in order avoid serving 6 months on a prison work farm for a crime they committed wrong. When first entering the ward McMurphy acted as though he...
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