The catalogue of works we have covered in class ranges from many different topics. What does seem to be a constant is the similarities the stories have in some major influential areas. Throughout all of the stories we have been through this year authority figures have had important roles on how the story has played out. In lights out the main authority character Dr. Erastas Carthage was the main authority figure for the book. Dr. Carthage who was a brilliant mind chasing a nobel prize in hopes to finally feel gratified with his work.
While doing so Carthage comes across the opportunity of a lifetime with the possibility of re animating a man after he’d been dead for nearly 100 years. Carthage would go on to lead his team to run the experiment in ways that he only he understand, like having them bring the body back from retrieval by train just so they could get press attention. In “The Other Wes Moore” we are told the story of two boys who share the same and have a similarly difficult path, but for one of the boys a wrong decision due to lack of a proper authority figure he gets arrested.
Wes Moore the writer’s father, passed away before they could ever develop a relationship and the other Wes Moore’s father was never in the picture. Each of these boys would have issues in school and luckily for Wes the writer he got a chance to go to military school where he was finally able to understand discipline and learn from good strong role models. All the while the other Wes Moore started to spend more time with his step brother who sold drugs. Wes would end up getting caught with his brother and going to jail.
In lights out the Ted Koppel book about the possibilities of a nationwide blackout for an extended period of time and a corresponding documentary made on National Geographic. These showcased the amount of reliance we have on technology in our lives and how that can be a major issue. Some people struggle to go a few moments without their phone if something were to happen that people couldn’t use technology for days no one would know what to do. What seemed the most evident in the documentary was that the authorities like the police and government did a poor job in assisting the communities.
It did not take long for riots to break out and for many people to become hostile over things like food and water. Each of these stories were formed by a lack of proper authority in the circumstances. Whether it was workplace situation like in The Curiosity a family situation like The Other Wes Moore or a major natural disaster with Lights Out each show how evident proper authority is. Throughout these books the main characters navigated through many difficult ethical decision. The Curiosity deals with playing god when they bring a man back to life after being frozen for 100 years.
That decision is incredibly difficult to make initially but what goes on after they bring the judge back to life dwarfs that decision entirely. How to care for a man that could die at any instant, who does not know where he is or what is going on. Once he understands his situation and begins to work with Dr. Philo more a different ethical question arises regarding their romantic relationship. Kate who very well knows that this could ruin the entire experiment finds more to Judge Rice then the other scientists do.
Dr. Philo allows her emotions to get to the best of her as the book ends when she lies to the media saying that Mr. Rice was just an actor and not a real man, after the Judge paddles into the frozen waters of the atlantic ocean. This ruins Kate’s career as a scientist and takes away any possible award they could have won by bringing a man back to life. The shutdown of the project goes relatively well for all but one member of the team of scientists. Dr. Carthage went on to kill himself once it came out that the judge was an actor his entire career’s work was ruined.
The decision Kate made when she said that Mr. Rice was fake can be attributed to the death of Dr. Carthage. In the case of “Lights Out” and the “American Blackout” documentary Ethical decisions for hundreds of thousands of people came at very difficult times. As shown in the documentary many people struggled to go on with their daily lives without the ease of technology helping them through their entire day. In the span of a few days riots and looting started and many people were in serious amounts of danger.
The documentary shows that hungry can drive someone to kill faster than what we may believe. This was shown multiple times with the couple in the city who fought over a can of peaches with a man until he was beaten with the can, and out in the safe house when the family’s food supply was raided by their neighbors who threatened the young boy of the family with a gun to his head. In difficult times like these showcased ethical decisions play a major role in your survival. No one knows how or when the power will come back so at that point everything is up for grabs.
Of course it’s nice to help people in need during dangerous situations and if that means giving a little bit of food to a neighbor even if that takes from your own family it can prevent a possible raid on your own supplies. The ethical line is something that is almost held up by society, which means when society falls so do the ethical values many of the people in it. These decisions may not necessarily run parallel to the ones made in the curiosity, they still hold very big ethical weight.
The way the blackout started is by the work work of someone hacking the national power grid and overriding the system, The ethical decision made behind that is one massive, having the power to throw millions of lives into a frenzy for reason then just watch is purely evil. Whereas in “The Curiosity” they were trying to find a way to bring someone back to life into hopes to learn ways to prevent death. These are all ethical dilemmas that one hopes to never have to face yet if so the grace and ease that Dr. Kate Philo had in her decisions was admirable as was the work and determination of Wes Moore the author to make something positive out of his life.
These characters each had very difficult paths to traverse through the novels. Dr. Philo dealing with a unthinkable workplace relationship, and Wes Moore going through his life without his father finding his sense of discipline at a military schools after being sent away from home by his mother. Each of these character’s dealt with being the outcast as Wes only one of two black students at his middle school and Dr. Philo was the women in her entire team working on the experiment.
The sense of constantly being alone stayed with Dr. Philo until the successful reanimation of Judge Rice. Once upon interacting with she finally felt like she had a person to talk to and be with, the love she developed with Jeremiah was a beautiful relationship Dr. Philo actually bringing life to this man who ended up taking Kate’s heart with him once he left her on the beach in the cape paddling to his death. Wes didn’t know what it was like to have a friend until he met the Other Wes Moore who happened to be the only other black student in his school.
Though the two didn’t stay friends for too long since Wes the author had to change schools, their bond was very strong, unfortunately for the other Wes, he got caught up in a life of drugs and crime and was eventually taken to jail all the while Wes the Author got another chance in Military school where he learned discipline and became head cadet. The difficult conditions of their environments is also shared with Wes and Kate. Dr. Carthage was a man that did things specific ways to gain more publicity for his projects in hopes to one day win the nobel prize.
This is why he made sure they body or Mr. Rice was brought back on a train after first retrieving it from the ice so when it had to be check for customs at the border the press would swarm around it drawing more attention, Dr. Carthage also treated Mr. Rice as if he was just another test subject and not a reanimated person. This working climate runs alongside the way Wes was treated in school be transferring to the military academy, in the sense that he was completely different than everyone else there with him.