Moral Obligations and Today's Society

| | Comments (4)

"She began to understand that she had a moral obligation to fire the Pole and that she was shirking it because she found it hard to do" (O'Connor 249). 

In the beginning, Mrs. McIntyre felt that she had a moral obligation to employ the Polish family.  Toward the end, she felt that she had a moral obligation "to her own people, to Mr. Shortley, who had fought in the world war for his country and not to Mr. Guizac who had merely arrived here to take advantage of whatever he could" (O'Connor 242). 

"The Displaced Person" really relates to the immigration situation today in the United States.  I think that the way one reacts to this story can reveal their view on this current issue.  (This is a great example of why we should continue to study works of literature that were written before our time.  No matter what year it was, they can still relate to today's society.)

The United States is faced with a moral obligation right now.  Should they continue to watch immigrants suffer and die either trying to cross the border or living in inhumane conditions or should they reform the current laws in place? 

O'Connor may have been writing during a different time period, but she was still writing about the United States.  The way that she portrays the treatment of people of other races/ethnicities during that time and the way we see them being treated now has not changed much.  It just shows that the United States has a long way to go before we can say that everyone is treated equal.

On a lighter note, you have a moral obligation to see what my fellow classmates have said about the same story. 



Greta Carroll said:

You are very right Lauren; the United States does have a long way to go. And this story can relate to the current immigration issue. I think people will always be unreasonably afraid of people who seem different, even if we are all really the same when it comes down to it. Internally we all have the same organs and physiological make-up, as Shakespeare wrote, “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” But some people will always be unable to see the past the differences to the many similarities between themselves and other people. Thus things like this story happen.

Kaitlin Monier said:

Hm, you bring up a good point. It is interesing how you relate the story to immigration. In a way, it helps the reader to understand that the moral conflict in Mrs. McIntyre isn't easy for her. Immigration is a difficult topic, and, for Mrs. McIntyre, so is deciding whether or not to let Mr. Guizac go. I was mad when she couldn't decide what to do. I thought it was an easy solution to just let the man keep working. It seems like an easy decision for the reader, but it is a difficult one for the character, just like immigration is hard to solve for the US.

Angela Palumbo said:

Lauren, how did I know that you would relate this story to immigration? lol. I enjoy reading your opinion and I agree that something needs to be done but what it is, I'm not sure.

Ally Hall said:

I think you make a great point about immigration -- and about how we should continue to read literature written before our time. People were people even then, and still had to deal with many of the same issues that plague our society today. Literature can give us an idea of what to do -- and what not to do.

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.