Ethics And Human Life By Linda Pastan Essay

Ethics And Human Life By Linda Pastan Essay

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Ethics and Human Life
A political (feminist) criticism of “Ethics” becomes a commentary on how our society views the elderly, especially elderly women. The author, Linda Pastan, is the narrator of the poem and presents herself recalling an ethics class taken when she was young. An ethical delimina is presented by a teacher. The students are asked , ”if there were a fire in a museum/ which would you save, a Rembrandt painting/ or an old woman who hadn’t many/years left anyhow?” (lines 3-5). The societal questions raised by “Ethics” focus on how does youth value the elderly, especially elderly women, and should something be deemed valuable simply due to its age.
The focus of “Ethics” concerns how the young students value an old woman. The students are not asked to value the worth of a young or old man or even a young woman. The ethical question presented is how much is the life of an old woman worth. Should anyone care if they died? Does an inanimate object, albeit an old, expensive painting be give more value than an elderly woman? The teacher stresses the point of having t...

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