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Survivor Guilt

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Survivors of disasters often feel a gut-wrenching sense of guilt, a sense so strong it sometimes takes over their lives. They could have done something more to save those who died, and they play out different scenarios of what could have happened in their head, over and over again. This is called survivor guilt, and is felt by many people who survive a tragedy that others die from. The main character of “The Seventh Man” by Haruki Murakami, was a victim to this awful feeling. He needs to be able to forgive himself for his failure to save his friend K., so he can live a life free of the burden of survivor guilt.
One reason why the Seventh Man should forgive himself is because of the unreasonableness of feeling survivor guilt. In “The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt” by Nancy Sherman, it explains how survivor guilt works, and says, “The guilt begins an
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They might think this because in the story, when the giant wave is coming toward K. and Seventh Man, he says, “I told myself to run over to K., grab hold of him, and get out of there...As clearly as I knew what I ought to be doing, I found myself running the other way.” This shows that the Seventh man chose to run away from K. instead of trying to grab him before the wave came. However, the Seventh Man was only ten years old, in the middle of a situation where he had to think fast, and didn’t know if he had enough time to save K. in the first place. Since he experienced something that was life-changing and scary at a very young age, he didn’t know what to do in the seconds he had to think, and his instincts were to run away. Trying to save K. could have cost the Seventh Man his life, and it wasn’t his fault that his friend didn’t see the wave coming. The Seventh Man should understand that K. being swept away by the wave was not a result of something he did, it was just a natural disaster that could not be
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