W. D. Valgardson's A Matter Of Balance

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In the short story, “A Matter of Balance”, W.D. Valgardson explores the idea that when an individual is faced with an intense situation, they tend to revert back to their conditioned response, which can overcome personal beliefs. This idea is evident throughout the story, for instance the way Valgardson demonstrates how Harold can respond to threats, his ability to act against his normal characteristics, or even the way he responds to a moral decision. Threats are commonly viewed as a way for an individual to intimidate their foes, or throw them off their balance, and the way a threat is acted upon can tell a great deal about the person’s nature. Valgardson uses the first meeting between the bikers and Harold as a way of demonstrating a common…show more content…
Even in safety, Harold was presented with a new intense situation that happens when suddenly the tables turn and the prey takes the upper hand. With this superiority many will take the chance to gloat or celebrate, however only a certain few fully comprehend the complexity of the situation. Now that the prey holds the power should they be at liberty to use it? Harold was not a killer by nature and dealt with “real regret for the way things were” (pg 29, Valgardson) but when his moral understanding was put to the test he gave into his conditioned response to protect the ones that he love rather than risk the safety of others. The author uses the flashback of the wife to demonstrate the ultimate reasoning for Harold’s decision - this idea that most people search for something from their past experiences to justify their actions in the present. In conclusion, the idea explored by W. D. Valgardson in the short story deals with a character 's response to an unsettling situation that causes the individual to compromise their moral opinion and make decisions based off emotions. The idea of threats causing a character to possibly act rationally or out of character can ultimately form the way an individual responds to moral decisions. With this topic in mind, are actions justified if they are being acted out of true and raw emotion
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