I think that it is in all of us as humans to do right but, at the same time I think that we all can be evil and have been evil at some point and time in our lives whether it was intentional or unintentional. Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill had ideas about good and evil. They both had ideas about how to live your life with having morals. The characters in this movie represent a mix of good, evil, and the grey area in between. Amy is the embodiment of good, as she wants only to live a simple life void of violence. This is until she is met with the choice of watching her husband die or taking action to save him. Through this difficult decision, she breaks her cultures laws to save the one that she loves. This was, by her morals, an evil action, but was portrayed as a good action in the movie. This to a small extreme was a “Deontologist” action, as Amy felt it was her duty to save her husband regardless of consequence. Prior to this class I have never heard of a movie (Western) called, “High Noon.” I borrowed the movie from a friend and watched it.
After watching this movie I thought that it was almost as good as, “Shane.” (Western) In watching this movie the theorist that we are studying about, theories can be depicted. Kane was the main actor in this movie. He got married to a nice lady (Amy) who I think was full of morals and on the day he got married Kane turned in his police badge and was preparing to leave town. Kane sentenced a man to a number of years in prison. He was told that this man (Frank Miller) would arrive back in the town at 12 noon on the train to seek revenge against him which made him feel compelled that he had to turn around and face his opponent. He was faced with a difficult decision. He had decided in the beginning to separate from his spouse and, I am thinking not because he didn’t love her but, to protect her and keep her out of harm’s way because of what he had done to Frank Miller. He had no definite intentions on what Frank Miller and his crew was capable of and Kane didn’t want his wife’s life being put in any danger. Kane was looking for the people in the town to back him up because it was four of these men to his one and because he has kept this town protected for so long. Instead of the town standing behind him, they turned their backs on him and tried to convince him to leave town.
The people in the town told him that if he left it would be beneficiary to the entire town. I think Kane was full of morals as well. He is such a remarkable character in terms of self-respect, morality and inner strength. Kane still wanted to do his duty as sheriff and protect the people in the town even though he knew it could cost him his marriage as well as his life. I think Kane represents Kant’s theory of, “Deontological.” Deontology is sometimes described as “duty”, “obligation” or “rule.” Kant feels like if you have a duty in life and/or if there is something for you to do then, it is your moral duty to follow through with it and complete your task as assigned. Some Deontologist believes that whatever some actions are wrong and it doesn’t matter what the consequences are. Deontologists are so absolute. You would also think they were, “Holy Madonna’s.” Immanuel Kant on the other hand believed the jack opposite. He believes the only time you would be classified as a good person of morals would be if you did a good deed. According to Kant, if you didn’t do a good deed then, you were not of good morals. The people in the entire town, I would refer to them as the, “Consequentialist,” because the main interest lye in the betterment of the people in that town even though what that thought was good was wrong.
The people in the town care about Kane so much, they are willing to help him but, they also think that it would be in his best interest to flee out of town, to avoid being in strife with the people of the town. The people in the town were I think, expecting a favorable solution towards Miller from the Northerners. Their solution is the betterment of the people in the town as far as their thoughts are concerned. Kane turned everywhere looking for men in the town that considered themselves as his friend to help in this battle. He couldn’t find anyone so, he went to the church. Kane thought he’d found some men willing to assist him take on Miller and his friends but, some of the people in the church congregation thought that violence was wrong and, would not help him. They opened the floor up in church for everyone to say something. At the end of all of the conversations, the town concluded again it would be best for Kane to leave town. They thought that if Kane would leave and his presence isn’t there, when the men arrived they would be no need to for the gun down because Kane would not be there and that would probably lead the men to turn around and leave.
This is also an example of a consequentialist. He is putting the town’s need before Kane’s by avoiding violence all together and this is not helping Kane. I think that it’s an evil act and very backstabbing. Cooper’s performance is extremely powerful and he received a thoroughly deserved Oscar for it. After everyone turns their back on Kane, he finally goes to the office and wait. He hears the whistle blowing from the noon day train. He goes and hides out as he awaits and sees Miller and his men pass by. Kane comes from his hiding spot and yells out Miller’s name and they begin shooting. Kane shoots all but Miller and one of his men. Kane hides again in another shop shooting back and forth with Miller and the last standing man. Amy (the virtuous and devoted wife I call her) gets off the train and comes back to help her husband. She shoots the last man with Miller in the back. Violence is against Amy’s religious beliefs but in order to save her husband, she does what a wife is suppose to do morally (I think) when your husband needs help. I would have done the same thing for husband at any cost! Amy does feels sorry after she killed the man.
Miller takes Amy hostage at her weak point in exchange for Kane to presence to surface which he did. Amy takes her nails and claws Miller’s face and this is when Kane took advantage of this moment and shot Miller two times. All the people in the town rush out into the streets because they couldn’t believe their eyes. They really thought that Kane wasn’t capable of taking on Miller and his men by himself. Amy his rib (biblical) came out of the wood works, a woman that is and helped her husband conquer this battle. Kane took off his badge and threw it down and had this look of disappointment on his face. He and Amy left for good. This was the end of the movie. After watching this movie, I absolutely loved it. Amy went against her religious beliefs to help her husband as what any devoted wife would do and if this is not the exact epitome of morals then, I don’t know what is. Kane on the other hand, had every opportunity to leave and stay gone but, because he felt it was his duty, “deontology,” he came back after finding out that Miller and his men would be in on the noon day train. He was determined to face his adversary and he won in the end. What a story! Again, I absolutely loved this story.
Kay, C.K. (1997). Deontology. Retrieved article http://webs.wofford.edu/kaycd/ethics
Kant, I. (1781). Sommers, C. & Sommers, F. (2010), Vice and Virtue in everyday life: Introductory readings in ethics (8th ed.), Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. ISBN: 9780495601616.
Mill, J.S. (1863). Sommers, C. & Sommers, F. (2010), Vice and Virtue in everyday life: Introductory readings in ethics (8th ed.), Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. ISBN: 9780495601616.