Essay 4 final - Sutker 1 Jacob Sutker Peter Bailey FWS...

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Sutker 1 Jacob Sutker Peter Bailey October 29, 2006 FWS Moral Failure?
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Sutker 2 Often times in literature the endings of stories are left up to the reader’s interpretation. In Henry James’ The Pupil, the cause of Morgan’s death at the end of the short story is questionable. Although there are many possible assumptions, Pemberton’s moral failure towards Morgan can account for the most probable cause. Pemberton’s moral failure includes his lack of action to do what is best for Morgan even if it involves having to undergo financial deficits or any type of life set back. Under the extreme conditions of Morgan’s own parents asking Pemberton to take Morgan and be solely responsible for him, Pemberton thinks about hesitating and doesn’t respond. Since Pemberton has established this father-son relationship over the years with Morgan it goes against all morals to essentially deny the custody of Morgan. Pemberton’s act of hesitation is an example of this denial. The bulk of the story consists of Pemberton and Morgan developing an increasingly tight relationship. While it might be reasonable to say that Pemberton’s thought of hesitation is due to his shock at having to make a potentially life-altering decision, the level at which Pemberton and Morgan have experienced their relationship out weighs any possible justification for his decision. Pemberton’s maturity, being the leader and the wiser of the two, should be portrayed in making morally correct decisions. Since Pemberton has become Morgan’s father figure and has ultimately taken on the characteristics of a true parent unlike the Moreen’s, it is Pemberton’s duty to take Morgan away with him. However at the end of James’ The Pupil this is not the case. Throughout the story, Pemberton plays a huge role in Morgan’s life to the point where Morgan sees Pemberton as more of a father figure than his true father. Starting with their first encounter, Morgan shows a sense of happiness towards Pemberton. While
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Sutker 3 up on the balcony Morgan laughingly says, “By the time you come back I shall have thought of something witty to say” (136). Immediately Pemberton says to himself, “After
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