Friday, October 25, 2019

Gilligan’s Perception of Morality in An American Story :: American Story Essays

Gilligan’s Perception of Morality in An American Story Though individuals live by and react similarly to various situations, not all people have the same morals. I can relate to instances where I have supported a belief, regardless of the criticisms that arise, all because my choice is based upon personal morals. The same can be said regarding Debra J. Dickerson as she expresses in her novel, An American Story. In Carol Gilligan’s â€Å"Concepts of Self and Morality,† she states, â€Å"The moral person is one who helps others; goodness in service, meeting one’s obligations and responsibilities to others, if possible without sacrificing oneself† (170). After considering this statement, I strongly feel that Gilligan’s proposal lacks the depth to accurately characterize the moral person, but I am able to accept the argument raised by Joan Didion. Her essay entitled, â€Å"On Morality,† clearly provides a more compelling and acceptable statement in describing the moral person by saying, â€Å"I fo llowed my own conscience, I did what I thought was right† (181). Joan Didion’s proposal is precise and acceptable. It is obvious that as long as people follow what they believe is the right thing to do, and approach the situation maturely, their actions can be considered examples of morality, and they can then be considered moral human beings. A moral person goes beyond the phrase, â€Å"without sacrificing oneself,† provided by Gilligan in her essay. This is clear by looking back at a specific example. I can recall a time when an entire class of mine decided to play a trick on a teacher in high school. They planned on manipulating her by telling lies in regard to what she had assigned and made her feel embarrassed. I wanted not to be part of these hurtful actions, so rather than tagging along as most of the other students, I did something about it. I stood my ground and as the students told one lie after another, I raised my hand and made her aware of the prank that was being executed. Though everyone looked upon me as the one who spoiled everything, the simple gesture of raising my hand revealed my morals to the class. At the time, I followed my conscience and followed through with what I thought was right, whether others agreed with me or not. This clearly supports and exemplifies Didon’s explanation o f the moral person.

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