Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two Different Decisions: Same Happy Outcome

Silas Lapham achieves his fortune through hard work and a little bit of luck, his morals then force him to lose everything, or did he lose everything? Had Lapham gone against his ethics and used a looser sense of business ethics he could have salvaged something money wise but I think his conscience would have paid for the loss in double. Silas’s decision to stay true to his morals gives him more than the money that he would have gained if he had tried to salvage. This is very interesting because his daughter goes against her better judgment and chooses her own happiness. I support this decision because it’s just logical, if she stays away from Tom then he won’t be happy she won’t be happy and Irene won’t be happy. If they are together then only Irene won’t be happy, and as we discussed in class, at 14 (or younger) she is way too young to be heartbroken for more than a week. But it is important to Pen that Irene be happy. If there was a morality scale, Pen giving up Tom would be as far left as you can get but she chooses to get together with Tom, sacrificing her morals. This is different than Mr. Lapham’s very far left decision that he sticks with. That is, Mr. Lapham made a decision that is on the very far left of his morality scale, and he stuck with it not sacrificing his morals just to keep some money to give his family some of the extravagant life that they had. One situation shows a person staying true to their morals and getting to return to their original happy life free of the superficial social ideals that the money brought them. The other situation shows a person choosing against their better judgment and living a happy life as well. Howells is not trying to say whatever decision you make you will be happy but rather, one life will be happier and it’s not always the same type of decision that will get you there.

1 comment:

  1. Your post sorts out the ethics of the situation and makes good sense, Dane. Pen makes the choice she does because it's logically right, but emotionally it doesn't feel quite right to her because she realizes that she tried to make Tom like her.