Analysis of Books Read in Class Essay

Analysis of Books Read in Class Essay

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To be just is to do the right thing. In the books read in class doing the right thing encompasses being peaceful and treating other people well. With justice as the actions of treating others well and being peaceful these actions will be examined, and patterns of these actions will be identified, in the books Ajax, Mencius, and the Quran.
In Ajax the theme of justice is brought up on numerous occasions. It often is the catalyst for conflict in the story. The first time justice creates conflict does not actually take place in the story of Ajax but slightly before, when it is decided that Odysseus will get Achilles armor instead of Ajax. When Achilles first died his armor was promised to the bravest Greek. A panel of judges voted to give the armor to Odysseus instead of Ajax. Instead of doing the right thing and treating Ajax well by giving him the armor the judges take a bribe and give Odysseus the armor (13). Ajax, however, believed that Achilles thought him to be the best warrior among the Greeks and therefore deserved the armor. Ajax feels an injustice has been committed. Ajax then tries to convey his own justice by killing the judges, he feels like this would be a justice thing to do because of his back ground influencing him to believe that an eye for an eye is the most just way to go about things. A conflict of justice has been created. For Ajax to find justice he needs to succeed in killing the judges, but at the same time killing the judges would be unjust because that would not be treating people right. The conflict here is that for the story to not stray from being just the judges would need to be punished but at the same time it is not just to kill them. It turns out that the book strays from justice on one point b...


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... not make a right or justice and it takes Odysseus to point this out. In Mencius one can see the pattern of people being born just, such as the child in the well, and needing to stay just. If this is achieved then you will be rewarded in life. Therefore the pattern in Mencius seems to be do what Mencius does and stay just. The Quran’s pattern is almost the opposite of Mencius even though its follower’s believe similar things. The Quran seems to say that people are not born being just but that they need to follow the rules to be just. If you follow the rules throughout life then your reward will come in the afterlife when you either go to heaven or hell. Even though all three of these books have a different pattern and they all seem to teach the same lesson that to be a good person you must be peaceful and treat others well, in other words you have to be just.

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