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Old 12-05-2010, 06:10 AM
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Ikran Makto
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What influence did the context have on the characters morality?

Perhaps the most memorable example of context influence is in ‘Stargate: Universe’. Military and civilian personnel alike become trapped billions of light years from home on the star ship Destiny. This presents the scientists on board with severe problems, particularly in the case of Nicholas Rush. Rush has to balance his feelings for the crew, his morality, with that of his duty to protect the ship from harm. Sacrifices need to be made. He is quite happy to see people on board undertake these sacrifices, or so it may seem, in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth. This is simply an example of what the context has done, it has forced Rush to forgo expressing his morality. I observed parallels between this character and the character of Jake Sully (Avatar) several times throughout this investigation and I have done so again.

Jake Sully from the beginning was determined to follow his orders, focused on serving the immoral incarnation of humanity that was the RDA local leadership on Pandora. This changed though as the ‘context’ changed around him. Jake woke up to the horrors being committed against the untouched environment on Pandora and the atrocities being forced up the indigenous population, known as the Na’vi. Much of this change in Jakes morality was because of Neytiri, who I highlighted extensively early on in this investigation. Jakes morality was analogous with Rush’s morality being challenged by the context around him, although in a very different setting with different variables.

To move onto a slightly different tack this context is similarly re-emulated in Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘Suicide in the Trenches.’ The main character in the war poem is driven to the immoral act of suicide simply because of the context and the immorality associated with a world war one setting. The stress and immorality of the war environment was too much for the young boy to handle, driving him to, and I quote: “put a bullet through his brain.” Another question I want to tackle here relating to this context is whether it was in fact immoral of the boy to commit suicide, frequently frowned upon in religious scripture is suicide. Which I might add is often morality 101 when you’re learning how to improve your human condition.

In all three texts here I saw how the context influenced morality. For Nicholas Rush he was forced to respond to more pressing matters on Destiny and put morality on the back foot for a while, so to speak. Jake Sully was enlightened by the context of Pandora and its indigenous inhabitants, it gave him something to fight for, something that made him moral. ‘Suicide in the Trenches’ isn’t as conclusive as the other two texts but one thing is certain, the immorality present in the context forced the young boy soldier to forgo his morality and abandon his own humanity. From this I can clearly state that the context implicated the human condition of various characters from the texts at various different times, forcing them to be someone they’re not such as Nicholas Rush, or someone they truly should be such as Jake Sully.

Conclusion

In summary it can evidently be seen that morality has a huge effect on the human condition of the characters present in each of my texts, each on having been effected in a different way, this explores the variability present in so many scenarios. I explored how a character is perceived by a third party and how important that is for the characters perceiving and being perceived, this point fitted ‘Macbeth’, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Stargate: Universe’ like a glove. There are also numerous connections between each text, every one variable in nature. I explored this in great depth when it came to ‘Avatar’ and ‘Stargate: Universe.’ For my final investigative point I measure the effect a context had on a character in the texts. It was found to be quite substantial, perhaps more than anything else. ‘Stargate: Universe’, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Suicide in the trenches’ were appropriate for this question. In the end this investigation uncovered the deepest implications the human condition of morality can have on the human psyche, how it is perceived, how it can be connected and how it is influenced by the very context.

Bibliography:
Macbeth (1993), Cambridge University Press

Avatar (2009), James Cameron, Jon Landau, Twentieth Century fox film Corporation

Stargate Universe (2009), Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Andy Mikita

Suicide in the Trenches (1918), Siegfried Sassoon, Counter-attack and other poems

Gattaca (1997), Andrew Niccol, Columbia Pictures
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