“My position was a common one; I wanted to do the right thing but could not help regretting the damnable expense.”
To Kill A Mockingbird
Morality- Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.
"You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire."
“I had been worsted by moral bullying, by Dempster’s conviction the he was right and I was wrong, and that gave him an authority over me based on feeling rather than reason: it was my first encounter with the emotional power of popular morality”
In Fifth Business, Dunstan's morality as a child is influenced significantly by the extremely religious views of Deptford. He is told that something that is right is something God and the bible would approve of. Dunstan's experience with Mr.Dempster shows him that deeply religious people are not always morally upright.
At a time when racism was
common, morality was often was put aside. Atticus taught his kids that it is one's character to be judged, not their physical appearance. Morality pertains to only one race: the human race. It is also mentioned that morality has nothing to do with public opinion.
"Atticus says cheating a colored man is ten times worse than cheating a white man"
Atticus is teaching his kids that it is already wrong to treat African Americans the way they were treated at that time, and to wrong them even though they are already disadvantaged, is extremely wrong. And again, his progressive attitude shows that morality is strictly good and bad or right vs wrong, not necessarily. what everyone else thinks.
Though Dunstan has not yet fully realized, he has no responsibility to Mrs.Dempster. He only began to realize that she has wasted his money, but he has not thought about his time, his emotions and essentially his life the he devoted to her that is now gone. Though of course he thinks he is morally obligated to take care of her and it is therefore his obliviousness that is to blame. After all she does not even remember who he is. Dunstan's ideas of right and wrong are clouded and as a result he cannot
make morally sound decisions.
Morality, or lack thereof, is something that can greatly affect one's life. Because of this, concrete moral education and self-reflection of your own morality is of the utmost importance as a young adult. In Fifth Business the conflicting morals of those around Dunstan (his family, his friends, and the church) leave him confused about morality which affect his decisions and caused him to take moral responsibility for something that wasn't inherently his responsibility. Though in To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout and Jem are taught morals by their father, but are also given real life examples that question morality. These events give them the opportunity to reflect upon their morals and solidify what morality is to them.
“Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”
- Mark Twain
Why Is Morality Important?