A Case for the Court of Conscience or Justice?

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“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.’’(Mahatma Gandhi) Having an inner voice is what allows people to decide what is morally right or wrong, not following it can make someone feel guilty. When facing righteousness, an individual must realize what he has done can only truly be judged by his moral sense. In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a novella by Robert Stevenson, and in A Separate Peace, a novel by John Knowles, one character from each novel acts unjustly and does not listen to their conscience. Dr. Jekyll and Gene both realize that what they are doing is considered wrong and yet they still do it. Both of them feel very guilty for it, but neither really try to completely make up for their wrongdoing. They are truly committing an injustice because they understand they are being dishonorable and yet still commit the crime.
In fact, Dr. Jekyll at first appearance seems to be a good person, he gives to charity, he is a doctor and he seems to be very religious, but he only does this because of the guilt he feels. The truth is that he longs to be evil and to do this he makes himself a different persona, named Mr. Hyde. As Mr. Hyde, he commits crimes such murdering Sir Danvers Carew and trampling a young girl. Stevenson’s tone throughout the novel is shocking and even melodramatic at parts, but it serves to show the reader a sense of disapproval at what is occurring. It is very hard to understand how such a nice person could do such bad things, but it makes the most sense in the end. His conscience makes him feel so bad that he wants to try to make up for his mistakes, but in the end he is still too tempted by the bad to abandon his altern...

... middle of paper ... weakness to the evil because he can’t stop his acts, unless he goes that as far as to commit suicide. Gene also feels guilt, when Phineas dies he believes that he has also died with him and will never be the same again. Unfortunately neither one completely and whole heartedly repents or changes their actions allowing the reader to decide whether they ever are really worthy of receiving any forgiveness.
In summary both Jekyll and Gene are in acknowledgment of their injustices and yet each still commit their crime making them guilty. In the world today a child cannot be put in prison for a crime. The reason for this is, it cannot be proved that they truly understand what they had done was wrong. In each book although, it can be said that each character understood the morality of what they were doing. So to this fact they are both guilty in the court of justice.
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