Mills, Ajanae


English 2

05 April 2016


In life, there’s always those who are superior or those who are the weaker link. As humans we have a common instinct to ignore the weaker link or help them, but whose responsibility is it to actually help that person? The answer is, there isn’t really one set responsibility. The strong take care of the weak if they feel they have a moral responsibility to do so.  

As people, we are sometimes put into situations where we are at that time the stronger person, so we are looked at as if we have a responsibility to take care of those weaker. In Lord of The Flies, a book written by William Golding, a character named Jack took on the responsibility of leading the boys due to the fact that they looked at him as the much more stronger and adamant boy out of the group. Jack recites.. “We’ll get food,” cried Jack. “Hunt. Catch things.. until they fetch us.” (Page 30) As we can see, Jack had no obligation to care for the rest of the boys because one, he was a child himself just like them and he does not know what he had to do to fend for himself in the wild and secondly, he was not the cause of their crash landing onto that island but because he felt morally responsible to help a group a of boys who looked to him as a protector or adamant ruler aka “the stronger person” he took on the responsibility of the group.

As we get deeper into the book, things start to spiral downward. The original elected leader Jack, turns evil or a term we have used previously to identify these actions, “savage”. Jack had clearly separated the island into 2 groups. One called followers and the others called leaders. Despite all of the bad Jack was doing, people still followed behind him like lost puppies while stronger minded characters such as, Ralph decided to step up and take matters into his own hands. Jack had left Ralph, Piggy and some other children behind while taking majority of the boys along with him. “We’ll live on our own. The four of us-” Just like Jack in the previous example Ralph felt as if this was his time to take responsibility being the stronger person out of that small group of kids and step up to protect them. Jack’s tribe was too busy focusing on the slaughtering of pigs and all other types of savage activities that they lost focus of the meaning of strong and the point in taking responsibility. It was not necessarily Ralph’s obligation to take care of these kids, because there was already someone who had vowed to support the boys while on the island but, when he realized responsibility was falling short he stepped up to the plate.

Not relating to the book is a real world example. As US citizens, we know how strong the US is in military, economy and governmental ways compared to a lot of other countries who are fairly behind us. In 1945, at the end of a long known as World War Two, the US bombed Japan twice due to the fact that they would not surrender. This bombing caused the total destruction of their country. Later after this bombing, the US helped in the reconstruction of Japan which later included the occupation of Okinawa by the US military. According to the US department of state, “ Between 1945 and 1952, the U.S occupying forces led by General Douglas A. MacArthur enacted widespread military, political, economic and social reform.” This shows a prime example of moral responsibility held on the backs of a stronger person but in this case society. The stronger person was the U.S and they had every right to feel responsible, seems though they were the ones to originally bomb Japan. In this situation, readers can only guess that guilt drove the US’s moral choice. Maybe they were guilty for the killing of all the innocent children and adults when they bombed them, or the total destruction of a place people called home. Not even long after the bombing of Japan was the US there picking up the pieces they had left behind because they had chosen to.

We will use another example of the US deciding to help with a national interest. That national interest being the Syrian Refugee crisis. The US had taken action along with multiple other countries to help take care of these refugees. Organizations from the US such as WFP (World Food Program) had sent food packages to the Syrian Refugees, the US even arranged areas where these refugees can settle in at, here in the US. This is prime example of shared responsibility. The US took responsibility of this tragic epidemic for one or two reasons, the first reason being it is a national interest and the second reason being morality. The US is known for being a big helper or supporter when it comes to events like that or terrorist attacks and they’re the first there to reach out. Simply because they have a reputation to help others. If a country is that big with lots of resources, why not help the people who are clearly suffering?

Coming to a conclusion, we can see that morality plays a big role in choices people make and things do not always boil down to blame. You do not always have to be the cause of something for you to simply want to help or take the responsibility for it. Throughout Lord of The Flies, we’ve seen multiple choices made by various characters in this book who has made choices based on reality and in real life we see choices made off of morality every single day. Morality is something that plays part in our everyday lives, sometimes we as people need to just open our eyes and look.

Works Cited

  1. Office of The Historian. "Occupation and Reconstruction of Japan, 1945–52 - 1945–1952 - Milestones - Office of the Historian." Occupation and Reconstruction of Japan, 1945–52 - 1945–1952 - Milestones - Office of the Historian. Office of The Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Golding, William, Lord of The Flies,New York: Penguin Group, 2003

Comments (1)

Sopheary Sok (Student 2018)
Sopheary Sok

1) I agree with your comparison because people make a lot of decisions because they feel that it's morally the right thing to do. 2) "The US took responsibility of this tragic epidemic for one or two reasons, the first reason being it is a national interest and the second reason being morality." 3) I liked this because I think it was one of your strongest examples.