COURAGE; THE DECIDING FACTOR OF OUR FATE
BY KRISTINA LAZORKO
Individual identity is the umbrella term for the characteristics that distinguish one from everyone else. Unfortunately it is difficult to preserve these traits, as society encourages us to look and act a certain way. As humans we want to feel accepted, often overlooking how beautifully individualistic we are, and that is when problems arise. If our desires are not cohesive, then we will spend our lifetime juggling these personas, and yearning for something more. Therefore, we must choose which identity will shape us, and this chice is facilitated by our courage, or lack of. Furthermore, courage shapes our individual identity as it dictates whether one will succumb to society's expectations, or preserve our individualistic traits. This is supported by the short stories, “Just Lather, That's All,” by Hernando Tellez, “Two Fishermen,” by Morley Callaghan, and “The Most Dangerous Game,” by Richard Connell, as it prevents the barber from becoming a murderer, prompts Michael to turn against Smitty, and allows Rainsford to win the game. To start, the barber’s lack of courage affects his individual identity as it influences him in choosing not to kill Captain Torrez. The barber thinks that the ethos of the captain is skewed, and therefore the barber must rebel to prevent him from gaining power. Many people from the barber’s faction saw the captain enter the shop, and therefore his objective is to kill Torrez as, “An enemy under one’s roof imposes certain conditions,”(2.23) and he will otherwise suffer the consequences. While the barber gives Torrez a shave, he starts to juggle between his morals and ethics, wondering which is more important to him. His point of view starts to change when he realizes that nothing is worth the “Sacrifice of becoming a murderer,”(3.58); not even honoring his morals. This is because society has conditioned him to believe that murder is wrong, and should not be performed under any circumstance. When the captain’s beard is almost shaved, society's expectations have clouded over his reason. His morals have vanished, and he makes his final decision based purely on ethics. Furthermore his individual identity is overridden by his lack of courage, as if he had stayed true to his morals, and killed the captain, then he would be a totally different individual. Additionally, Michaels identity is affected by his lack of courage as this limits his social circle. At the start of the story, Michael only knows Smitty by his profession, which has a negative connotation associated with it. Nevertheless when Michael actually meets Smitty, he comes to discover that Smitty is actually a “Very enthusiastic,”(2.32) and “Charming,”(3.5) man, and Michaels perspective of him begins changes accordingly. When they are on the boat together, they are able to converse openly, and free of obligations and expectations. This is possible as the lake acts as a literal and symbolic...