Look at them! Monsters I tell you! Look at them as they stand in their own filth. Monsters are what became of the individuals who once held close ties to their own morals. However, morality nearly becomes extinct by the actions taken by individuals trying to reach their goals. In three different literary works we will analyze how an individual can be turned away from their own beliefs whenever their inner desires interfere.
The things they Carried written by Tim O’brien, The great gatsby written by F. cott Fitzgerald, and Monster written by Walter Dean Myers prove that individuals will ignore their morals in order to achieve their own wrongful desires. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” illuminates the idea of “morality collapsing to the desire” because the entire tale takes on a journey in which we meet the nicest people but we begin to see their true colors and what their own personal desires are capable of doing whenever they do not hold strong to their morals.
We run into a man by the name of Jay Gatsby who is madly in love and obsessed with Daisy Buchanan but Daisy is married and Jay is a man of honor and follows true to the moral that one should be faithful while married, yet Jay continues to chase Daisy. Although Jay Gatsby is a great guy, we watch him turn into a monster because he’s so obsessed with Daisy Buchanan who is already married to Tom Buchanan. “It was a strange coincidence,” I said. “But it wasn’t a coincidence at all. ” “Why not? ” “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay. (Fitzgerald, p. 7)
Gatsby buying a house so close to Daisy Buchanan’s is no coincidence, Jay knew exactly what he was doing whenever he purchased the property and it was only to merely be across the bay from Daisy. This fueled everything that led to be in The Great Gatsby because Gatsby’s desire for a taken woman caused him to become something he was not. Gatsby turned into a monster and ultimately lost his entire life. Sadly, Gatsby’s becoming is evident reason that an individual will ignore their own morals in order to pursue a deeper desire.
Also from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, we meet Daisy Buchanan. Daisy is married and is living an overall successful life until she learns that Mr. Jay Gatsby is still around. Daisy and Jay were ex lovers that never got their closure and this caused major issues once they came to see each other for the first time in years. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily. “They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the think folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before. ” (Fitzgerald, p. 18)
The fact that Daisy becomes so emotional over Gatsby’s shirts is a sign of old flame still existing. Daisy gives up her morals and her vows the moment she starts running to Gatsby, the desire for him was too much for her to conceal and she even agrees to leaving her husband. This all ties back to our thesis by showing us Daisy also gave up her morals in order to pursue her own personal desires. Trust is a huge aspect of any relationship and you must have it to succeed but most importantly you must trust yourself or else you are going to self destruct and destroy yourself because you are not strong enough to stick to your own morals.
Michael Lewis of Rutgers University said it best whenever he talked about how lying damages everyone including yourself. “Lying to others is most often seen as an interpersonal failure because it damages trust, believed to be one of the hallmarks of a relationship. Yet, as we have already noted, lying to protect the feelings of another appears a necessary act similar to other prosocial behaviors such as helping and empathy. ” Whenever we destroy trust, we eventually destroy ourselves and we become the things we never ever thought that we would.
Lewis supports my point that wrongful desire destroys morality by tying dishonesty (honesty is a moral so dishonesty is the opposite) into the damage it causes others and ourselves. The Things They Carried by Tim O’brien also gives a prime example of what it means to lose your morality to your own doings. “He took off his boots and socks, laid out his medical kit, doped himself up, and put a round through his foot. Nobody blamed him, Sanders said. ” The man that O’brien is speaking of is Rat and Rat is very strong in the belief that you must be honorable.
Rat refused to die in battle and the world became too much for him to bare any longer, Rat ended up taking himself out of the fight by shooting self in the foot. Even though many do not blame Rat for taking the quick way out, Rat most likely did not and he went out in weakness and he has to live with that weakness for the rest of his life. Rat’s will to get out of the fight was so strong that he shot himself to get out of it, because of that his own moral of strength was defeated by the weakness that came from his own desire to avoid death.
The crave/need to follow influence kill our morality because we know that human nature is not perfect and we will fall to our own mistakes and this helps support our thesis with evidence that one’s desire can destroy their morality. Man must choose his actions, values and morals by what is right for him to be successful. This better explains whenever we establish morals to better ourselves and then we collapse by falling into the temptation of our own desires. The symbol of war is probably the biggest stronghold point regarding morality and desire.
The Things They Carried focuses on the idea that war is without morality and the reason I say this is because war is ruthless. War takes away all morality from everyone because the most basic of all morals is to not kill, it is never your place to take a life unless your own is in danger. War is the focus of The Things They Carried and O’brien really does create a message that conveys moral being completely lost because of one’s desire to fight. David Swanson gives insight on war and morality, “War engages me because of its unique relationship to morality.
Killing is a long-standing taboo. Killing is often if not always the worst thing that can be done to someone. But killing on a larger scale, organizing numerous people to kill numerous other people is often treated very differently. When a government kills its own people, that’s generally considered an outrage. But when a government kills another nation’s people, that’s not always viewed as a moral problem. In fact a government killing its own people is often used as a justification for another nation to come in and kill more of the first nation’s people. Monster by Walter Dean Myers is another good example of morality being traded for one’s will. Steve is put in a position where he couldn’t tell the truth or else it would put him in jail. Steve’s will to avoid incarceration led to him giving up his own moral of honesty. “The prosecutor said I was lying. I wanted to ask her what she expected me to do when telling the truth was going to get me 10 years. ” The moral thing to do would be to own up, tell the truth and do the time but a completely other route is taken and it shows how easily someone will give up their morals for their own desire.
Paul Tillich said it best, “Goodness without knowledge is weak; knowledge without goodness is dangerous. We have to build a better man before we can build a better society. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing. Our purpose is not to make a living but a life–a worthy, well-rounded, useful life. Morality is not a subject; it is a life put to the test in dozens of moments. ” Why are morals so important? Because they are the value between right and wrong, to do the right thing is to be moral and to do the wrong thing is to be the exact opposite.
However morals make society survivable because imagine if we lived in a world without morality and everyone chose to take up for only themselves, we would live in complete peril. So therefore the importance of understanding that morality holds stronger suit over our own desires is VERY important. Without morality there is nothing. The things they Carried written by Tim O’brien, The great gatsby written by F. scott Fitzgerald, and Monster written by Walter Dean Myers prove that individuals will ignore their morals in order to achieve their own wrongful desires.
This is evident in the adultery committed by Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, Rat Kiley’s catch . 22 with being sent to war and fear of death so he went out as a coward by shooting himself in the foot and then Steve Harmon being placed on trial for murder and having the choice of lying to protect himself or telling the truth and facing incarceration. Without morality, there is no right and there is only wrong, therefore we must begin the fight for what is right.
Imagine if Daisy and Jay never ended up chasing each other, what if Rat never shot himself in the foot and never got discharged and what if Steve Harmon got on the stand and just told the truth? We may dislike the immediate outcome of our situations but in the end, it is always better to do the right thing rather than the wrong thing because the world does go round and everything catches up to everyone at some point. That is why I stand so firmly behind morality over our own desires, the right thing will never be the easiest and that is how we divide the strong from the weak.