Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moral Dilemma?

I read this story in Willow Temple my new book from HoCoPoLitSo, and found it fascinating, so I thought I'd post it on for you all.

"A husband and wife named Raoul and Marie lived in a house beside a river next to a forest. One afternoon, Raoul...had to travel to Paris overnight on business. As soon as he left, Marie paid the Ferryman one franc to row across the river to the house of her lover, Pierre....Just before dawn, Marie dressed to go home to be sure that she'd arrive before Raoul....When she reached the Ferryman, she discovered that she had neglected to bring a second franc...She asked the Ferryman to trust her, she would pay him back. He refused "a rule is a rule" he said.

If she walked north by the river she could cross it on a bridge, but between the bridge and her house a Murderer lived in a forest and killed anyone who entered....Marie returned to Pierre's borrow a franc....Pierre awoke hearing her but he was tired and...went back to sleep. Marie returned to the Ferryman. She would give him ten francs by mid morning. He refused to break the rules of his job; they told him cash only; he did what they told him. Marie returned to Pierre's with the same lack of result, as the sun started to rise.

Desperate, she ran north along the riverbank, crossed the bridge, and entered the Murderer's forest."
(credit to Donald Hall)

Later in the story it asks, Which of the characters in the story is morally most responsible for Marie's death?"

The options are: Raoul, Marie, Pierre, Ferryman, Murderer.
There is no "right" answer - actually, in the story, it offers justification and arguments for all characters. Who do you think? Defend your choice to me (but don't pick on other people's defenses!)

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