Essay: The Western Idyllic Man

Sample Essay

As indicated by Odyssey, the Western man who is supposedly the good guy is expected to act in accordance with the expectations of the highest good (68). Plato in this regard argues that every body pursues the highest good in different ways despite the fact that its attainment could not necessarily be a pleasant experience (Mathenson, 899). He asserts that every individual is supposed to pursue this highest good for society’s sake.

The western perception of man thus expects him to pursue what is good for the sake of everyone in his society. Society to this end encompasses his immediate relatives, town and everybody who in any way is affected by his activities. This presents their moral center that they are responsible for the wellbeing of everyone and should in this case aim at obtaining the highest good for each and everyone.

Further, this western idyllic man ought to be able to implement and enforce his idea of the greater good. The strength to successfully enforce these ideals forms the framework upon which the act of pursuing the highest good is based. Thus strength plays a central role in the attainment of goals and objectives. This theme is explicitly explored by the play, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. In this, two of the films principal characters are tough, hard boiled men but only one of them believes in the role of virtue ethics. Tom Doniphon and Liberty Valance are both considered brutal men, but only Liberty Valance is brutal without any moral responsibility (Matheson, 899). In this film, Doniphon is ethically brutal because his brutality allows him to provide protection for the persons around him, the woman he loves best and the people of the town. In this regard, it can be ascertained that his brutality is beneficial and for the good of not only himself, but the entire society as well.

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