The Nature of Leadership in Billy Budd The Scarlet Letter Essay

The Nature of Leadership in Billy Budd The Scarlet Letter Essay

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The Nature of Leadership in Billy Budd The Scarlet Letter

 

While it would be logical for good character to be in accordance with good leadership ability, this is rarely true in application. History has proven that many effective leaders were cruel and corrupt, and even American literature has reflected the commonplace nature of corrupted politicians. Upright politicians have existed but do not stay in the brief spotlight of American attention as the ones consumed by scandal. Therefore, Americans labor under the misconception that it is acceptable for a politician to be dishonest. Politicians will ignore moral guidelines to suit the lackadaisical characters of the voters as well as for their own personal gain. Only when Americans decide that personal character is more important than charisma will quality of leadership be supplemented by the moral awareness that the job demands, but which ironically the voters often complain that American leaders do not have.

 

A primary implication in American literature is that behind every good leader lurks a few dark secrets. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the Reverend Dimmesdale is a devoted leader of the church who causes great inspiration to his congregation over the years. In fact, it seems that the greater his personal suffering grows, the more the public view of him appreciates. Arthur Dimmesdale is an adulterer and a hypocrite. While his lover Hester Prynne suffers publically for their combined sin, he is exalted as a moral icon. Through his own casuistry, he has convinced himself that he is serving the interests of the people this way. He is a very good minister, but a weak man. His dabbling in sin caused him to understand the peo...


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...d gone without notice because they have not been involved with a scandal. The fact that the job can be adequately performed without a moral conscience doesn't mean that immorality is a prerequisite. In fact, citizens should reconsider the motives of their leaders if they know that the person feels no moral obligation to do what is right . When Americans look at their government officials, they should be proud rather than ashamed. By examining the literary and historical past of America, it should be apparent that serious thought should be involved in the selection of leaders as well as scrutiny of those already in power. With the system of government that America has today, it is imperative that the intentions of the founding fathers be remembered: "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice."1

 

1 The Constitution of the United States, 1787

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