To Kill a Mockingbird On a rainy day, a man at the bus stop asks for change. The two choices are walking past him avoiding eye contact, or giving him the change with a smile. Before even talking to this man, one may have already made the assumption that he is homeless or a drug addict wanting to buy his next high. But assumptions cannot accurately explain who he is or why he needs money.
In many cases, people may be forced by external circumstances to make decisions that they would not have made if such circumstances did not present themselves. The results of such decisions can either have a positive or negative impact on the lives of an individual. Such a case is well presented in the story A &P by John Updike where the major character, Sammy is portrayed to be indecisive. In this story, Sammy, the major character continually rebels against his coworkers, his boss, customers, and sometimes himself. His rebellion appears to have more disadvantages than advantages as it complicates his life in many cases.
Individuals allow themselves to be placed in horrific situations. They can be influenced by the society of other individuals but, it ends up being their own decision whether to go through with it or not. The decision comes down to their own moral compass to guide them to make the right decision. However, losing a good moral compass could lead an individual down the wrong path. William Shakespeare explores the idea of poor decisions leading to a downfall in his tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, as Juliet risks the safety and love of her family by putting herself in difficult situations.
Within both of John Updike’s “A&P” and Haruki Murakami’s “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning,” choice against fate is a recurring concept in which both protagonists in respective stories have reached the decision of tempting fate; a conscious one at that, not to mention as the story unravels. In Updike’s “A&P,” the protagonist believes that he has a choice in the life he is living in and detests his job. Sammy has a tedious life where he works at a local A&P store as a cashier and living through the very selfsame day like a relentless, endless cycle. In a way, he is not much taken with his profession due to the boredom it entails and believes that he has a choice in the life he is living in; Sammy could have a better job if he wants instead of being a cashier at a small grocery store in the town he resides. An example of Sammy’s assumption that he has a choice in the life he lives is his thoughts on his boss, Lengel.
“... he would carry home three dollars to his family… just about his proper share of the total earnings of the million and three-quarters of children who are now engaged in earning their livings…” (Sinclair
In Jack Finney’s “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pockets” Tom Benecke makes the right choice when he decides to chase after his wife after he manages to re-enter his apartment. Out in the cold New York air, Tom was beginning to lose hope. He had the paper, but encountered unexpected complications attempting to enter his apartment. Tom realized that, were he to fall, the community would have no way to judge him besides what he was carrying. Their thoughts, he imagined, would be “Contents of the dead man’s pockets… a wasted life” (Finney 14).
Guilt has the potential to crumble even the most powerful of mortals. The Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth reveals the consequence of immoral action: guilt. William Shakespeare portrays the idea that the downfall of one may transpire as a result of this regret. Throughout the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are negatively affected as they are overwhelmed by the realization that they have violated their moral standards; this causes their guilt. The two attempt to conceal the remorse they experience, but despite this, their misdeeds take their toll.
He uses examples of cases in which people committed crimes involuntarily. Eagleman also cites examples of mental diseases in which the victims have no control over their impulses or actions. In other words, there are people who simply cannot stop themselves from making horrible or regrettable decisions. Therefore, this essay challenges the assumption that people have the power to choose how they live their lives and to make the right decisions at all times. Eagleman addresses the readers directly in order to be able to demonstrate that he understands that his readers will find his ideas radical.
Having dealt with the pressure from his parents from a young age, McCandless grew more and more embarrassed of his family’s wealth and “believed that wealth was shameful, corrupting, inherently evil”(Krakauer 115). He later burned all his money and believed strongly that “it looks poorest when you are richest”(Thoreau 9), meaning large amounts of money leave a person feeling empty, which influenced McCandless to travel very lightly at all times. This proved to be a challenge which McCandless would have to overcome after meeting and developing friendships with so many people. Ron Franz was one man who gave McCandless a particularly difficult time in keeping his baggage light. Franz thought of McCandless as a son, and cared deeply for him, but because McCandless was trying to keep his “affairs...as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand”(Thoreau 3), he kept a distance between himself and Franz, being careful to not become too attached to him.
Choices and Consequences How do you think your choices affect others and what are the consequences of those choices? In this book, Tangerine by Edward Bloor, every decision has an effect and a consequence. Erik makes several bad decisions throughout the book. For starters, he and his brother don’t have a strong relationship. Also, the Fisher parents don’t have a solid relationship with their children.
Many people throughout their lives at least once acted recklessly and irrationally to overcome challenges. Without thinking thoughtfully, the actions they performed may have harmed others or themselves. This is why the phrase, “think before you act” is created, to prevent others from performing tactless maneuvers to satisfy their challenges and emotions. In the novel, A Brave New World, Aldous Huxley suggests that individuals who act recklessly in the face of adversity will fail miserably; these reckless actions will cause despair and grief for the individual or others because of their lack of thinking and overwhelming of emotions. In A Brave New World, author Aldous Huxley introduced an Alpha-Plus male named Bernard Marx.
Although some of Christopher McCandless' decisions portray him as an anti-hero, his personality and determination demonstrate the qualities of a tragic hero, one who makes mistakes but still tries to follow his beliefs and ideals. Christopher McCandless is often described as a sociopath, and although he did hurt those around him, he was aware of what he had done and was beginning to reconcile with the idea of returning to society. McCandless had walked away from his parents and the life they had built for him. His father comments upon this, saying how he didn’t know how “‘a kid with so much compassion could cause his parents so much pain’” (104).