Before starting my essay, I would like to share an extract from an article which is related my topic. I think it is better to start scientific definition of my main argument “Guilt” as a moral concept. In this article, shame and guilt are being discussed and I am going to connect with the characters of the books I am going to write about them. “Analyses of personal shame and guilt experiences provided by children and adults revealed few, if any, “classic” shame-inducing or guilt- inducing situation.
Most types of events E. g lying, cheating, stealing, failing to help another, disobeying somebody are cited by some people in connection with feelings of shame and by another people in connection with guilt. ” In my essay, I am going to talk about the relationship between guilt and personal action in the Enduring Love and The quiet American, and then I am doing to discuss how guilt functions as a moral concept. At the beginning of Enduring love, we encounter an incident that changes the life of all characters.
Joe and Clarisse organize a picnic to celebrate their rapprochement six weeks after their separation. While two lovers spends their time peacefully, a balloon which has inside two passengers, suddenly as it will be broken down to ground, begins to rise. With the few people around there, Joe starts to run towards balloon in order to help. However, nobody knows that this moment will change their destiny. Mr. Logan is the one of them who tries to hang the rope hardly in order to pull down the balloon.
Everybody gives up hanging but he doesn’t. The balloon rises again with him. He falls and dies. After he dies, some characters feel sense of guilt like Joe and Mr. Logan’s wife but they choice to find judgment of this guilt and find way to suppress their conscience. Joe’s sense of guilt starts with this balloon accident as we know. In the article that I show at the beginning says “failing to help another” creates sense of guilt.
For sure he is affected the most from this accident, he feels sad and guilt because he thinks that he and others could do better while saving the boy and Logan. Also he knows that people are always the same that naturally they are selfish. “What is certain is that if we had not broken ranks, our collective weight would have brought the balloon to earth a quarter of the way down the slope a few seconds as the gust subsided. ” Since he is a logical man, he uses his logic in a way that saving firstly himself it means his selfishness is actually coming from his rationality.
This personal choice preponderate his instinct of satisfying himself for child he says: “The child was not my child, and I was not going to die for it” “Selfishness is also written on our hearts” (14) He always tries to suppress his guilt by seeming cool but actually I feel that he is actually remorseful since he is thinking so much about this accident and questioning whether if we did so, we could have saved or if we were good person, everything would be different. He says; “Someone said me, and then there was nothing to be gained by saying us.
Mostly, we are good when it makes sense.. ” On the other hand, I put myself into the position of Joe and said myself that my life or child’s life? Which one is important then I thought everybody is afraid of death so am I… I can understand his compunction; I would be grateful for living like Joe. At the same time he is very afraid of seeing the ruins of this accident, there is one death, Mr. Logan. He is the only one who does not give up hanging the rope. Logan satisfies himself for a child, for a child that no relation between them.
Then Joe starts to see him as a hero but at the same time, he feels guilt again. “The impossible idea was that Logan had died for nothing. ” “But even as I felt the nausea of guilt return, I was trying to convince myself I was right to let go. If I hadn’t Logan and I might have dropped together, and Clarissa would have been sitting here alone tonight. ” In this quotation, Joe’s sense of guilt increase but in order to suppress it he thinks Logan died for nothing, Joe is alive an lucky one however his conscience is still bother him.
If he died like Logan, what would happen to Carissa, to press his guilt, he believes he should think not just himself but Clarissa, too. He also says: “Good people sometimes suffered and died, not because their goodness was being tested, but precisely because there was nothing, no one, to test it. No one but us. ” In my opinion, in this quotation he questions himself, people are tested somehow in that painful situation whether they are good enough or not, whether they have got stamina or not… Joe finds a way to escape his guilt, he takes help from Clarissa.
Her existence makes him feel comfortable but he can’t success it. They become closer to each other after Logan’s death. “We had nothing to forgive, unless, I suppose, we were absolving each other of the death but those were the feelings that broke with each other wave of sensation” Joe believes that sharing his every thought and feeling with his partner makes him relax. It is interesting that although Clarissa is a woman her reaction to the Logan’s death is quite different; she seems not very affected by this accident like Joe. She just makes poetic description about the accident. Hurl’d headlong flaming from th’Ethereal Sky. ” In my opinion She doesn’t seem guilt or sad rather than she thinks something extreme happened in their life and they have got a new story to tell everybody. Also she gives childish reaction like that “But oh god when he fell! “. Another thing that I found was Mrs. Logan’s sense of guilt. Since jean Logan believes that her husband was cheating her before he died. She thinks that his dying is a kind of judgment of him for his sins and he deserves dying for her.
“This business of holding on to rope… You see, I have thought about it, and I know what killed him. However, when he finds out that her indictments are actually wrong she feels guilty and actually her husband was a kind of brave man then she accuses herself about suspicious her husband. If I come to the subject of overcoming these problems, I can say that Joe cannot overcome the sense of guilt at first. He tries but something in his heart makes him think all the time. Since he never gives up telling the accident to everybody over and over again. I think telling everybody can’t solve his problem or reduce his repent since he thinks he killed somebody, he would help him. But instead of reading myself or others I thought about John Logan and how we had killed him. ” also” And who was this person? Not me. Not me. I even said the word aloud. ” He is always in between position that whether he is really guilt or innocent but his moral emotions don’t give a strong influence on his moral choice. If we take moral concerns he is guilty, not just him actually but everyone around him I mean society is guilty. If they collaborated at the moment of balloon incident rather than shooting each other or If they did not think first themselves, Logan would live…
But at the end of the novel, we see that some hidden things resolved. Joe thinks that he does not feel that he is responsible Logan’s death anymore because he proves Logan’s wife his loyalty to her. They become happy at the end. Another book which discusses the theme of guilt is the Quiet American. One of the main character in the book who gives name to the title is Alden Pyle is killed and his death incident is narrated at very first chapter. The story is narrated by Thomas Fowler is a British journalist doing his job in Vietnam. He tells the tragic dead of Pyle then tells us the relationship between them.
At first, we don’t understand Pyle’s job, we feel sympathy toward him because he seems very innocent young guy just falls in love with Phuong but through the end we encounter his real, deep relation with the war. Pyle is actually a CIA agent. The aim of CIA is creating a Third Force in Vietnam so after that Vietnam will be saved from French and communist. It seems very innocent aim on surface but in deep it means so much…. people will be killed, so much people will be homeless, so much people will be starving. So, Alden Pyle is responsible from that devastating effect on a civilization.
Fowler tells about him that “ He’s a good chap in his way. Serious. Not one of those noisy bastard at the continental. A quiet American. ” This quotation means that I think he is a kind of spy because he is quiet and seems for him Pyle has sneaky part. Fowler thinks about him like that since Pyle is admirer of York Harding and his theory of neither Communism nor colonialism is the answer in foreign lands like Vietnam, but rather a “Third Force”. “York,” Pyle said, “wrote what the east needed was a Third Force”. Then the story shows that Pyle is the responsible for the bombing. It means he is involved.
However Pyle believes that the bomb is justifiable and all that happens in Vietnam for the sake of Vietnam itself. Pyle is innocent actually; he is used for this aim. He is sick to the idea of developed and democratic civilization in Vietnam but bombing means killing innocent people. Well Pyle is death now but after his death he leaves sense of guilt to Fowler because he is involved the conspiracy of Pyle. While Vigot and Fowler are talking about the death of Pyle, Fowler thinks himself that “French methods are a little old fashioned by our cold standards: They believe in the conscience, the sense of guilt [… I told myself again I was innocent”. In my opinion, in saying so he causes to depict his own feeling of guilt. As the article says that betray somebody causes sense of guilt so Fowler suffers his conscience too. Fowler tries to suppress his sense of guilt because he knows that Pyle is innocent he says “Impregnably armored by his good intensions and his ignorance. ” I ask myself that okay Pyle is death but is there any change? America is still going on his mission, Pyle’s dead is not important for them actually. If fowler thinks like me, his sense of guilt might be doubled.
In my opinion, Pyle’s death is not just he is a spy who is responsible from bombing but also Pyle was trying to take Fowler’ lover so Pyle’s justification is just to fall in love with Phuong. Fowler wants to remove Pyle since he wants to take his lover back. Phuong is his source of life in Vietnam. I think,it may be a kind of love murder but these cannot be excuse of an innocent man dying. Is it ethical? I mean, Pyle is innocent but his kind is dangerous innocence. He does unconsciously wrong things but this is because of his ignorance.
Therefore, Fowler cannot overcome this pressure of conscience he says before Pyle is killed. “ I had betrayed my own principles; I had become as engage as Pyle, and it seemed to me that no decision would be simple again. ” Green finishes the novel with Fowler’s last confession which tells us his intense sense of guilt about Pyle’s death. “I thought of the first day and Pyle sitting beside me at the Continental with his eye on the soda-fountain across the way. Everything had gone right with me since he had died, but how I wished there existed someone to whom I could say that was sorry. ”