By: Neyko Dimov
The question that we are left to think about after reading the short story,
“Gentlemen Your Verdict” by Michael Bruce, is if sometimes in life, it is okay to kill, or let someone die to ensure the survival of others? Also who is more important to be saved when there are only limited numbers of people who can survive? Is it those who are married and possibly have kids, or others who are younger but are not yet married? In this story the captain of a submarine plays the role of “god” which many would consider as wrong and others as right. He is put in a situation where he needs to kill 15 people of his crew to ensure the survival of at least 5.
The story is told from the point of view of the 5-crew members who survived the crash. They each tell their own version of what had happened that terrible day one by one. Even thought each story is a little different from the previous, each one covers the main events. The story takes place under sea inside a submarine caring 20 crewmembers. The submarine had just hit a mine, which sent it directly down to the bottom of the sea. As the captain sees there is no way out unless they are pulled out of the water, he realizes that time is crucial. He calls for help but all they tell him is that the only help they can get will come in 7 days. With the air inside running out fast, the captain calculates that all the time they have left is no more than 2 days. Page 23, “ and they had air for less than two days.” After confirming the time of the rescue on the radio, which had luckily survived the impact, he calls everyone to gather around. He then tells the men he has good news and pours liquor into all the men’s mugs, excluding 5 married men. As he tells them they have done a great work at their jobs they each drink from their mugs and are soon laying dead on the floor. He then tells the 5 men what and why he did this, and also tells them what to do and when they will be rescued. After he has finished his report, he also drinks from the poison and dies. We are left to discuss if in fact what the captain of the submarine did was the right decision, and also, does he have the right to do gods work.
Where Does The Truth Lie? Rashomon is a film which allows you to come up with your own ending. You are told four stories, all completely different from one another, but about the same thing. As the viewer, you are to come up with your own truth. Also you are then forced to see why people may lie or embellish. Whether it be to keep themselves out of trouble or make themselves seem as if they are a ...
As many as people who would say that what the captain did was wrong and out of the question, the fact that he even killed himself would make some think otherwise. From the information we are given we know that if they had all been alive inside the submarine, there would have been no chance they would have survived for 7 days. This is one reason why the actions of the captain would be proven as correct. Page, 25, “We had air for less than two days for all of us. Now there will be air for all five of you for seven days.” As you can see the captain did the right thing. He did not really kill 15 people, he actually saved 5. It is obvious that they would have all died if his actions were not taken. Many would still argue that it is wrong to kill someone, because it is not a human’s job. However what this story tell us is that sometimes, in really bad situations like the one in the story, the knowledge of the human can help save at least a few lives, and it is a good thing to use it no matter what you have to do. What also proves that the captain knew what he was doing is that he actually killed himself as well. Page 25, “I could condemn my whole crew to death or sacrifice fifteen and save five, and am going to join the others. Good-bye sir.” This proves to us that he did not do all of this just so he can survive himself. He did it so those 5 married men who have families to look after survive. This brings us to the next argument which deals with who has the priority to be rescued. Many would say that women or married men should have higher priority to be rescued, and other would agree to the opposite of that. In this case we know that the captain chose the married men as more important then the others. This is really a question of self opinion.
Inner and Outer Images in A Gathering of Old Men In the novel A Gathering of Old Men, Ernest J. Gaines, portrays the Novel through the eyes of individual narrators involved on the events of the day. The novel focuses on a group of cowardly black men who finally stop running and stand up for themselves and years of suffering. There is great difference between the narration of the black and white ...
I personally think that what the captain did was the right decision. There were no other options for him to make sure the survival of his men other then what he did. I think that if he had taken no action, and wished for the best of luck that rescue would arrive fast, they would have all died and ‘then’ he would have made the wrong decision. Continuing to our next question, if he chose the right people to survive, I would not necessarily agree or disagree with the idea. On one side I think that he made the right choice to pick those men with kids and a wife because someone has to look after the children. It would be so much harder for a woman to be single and having to take care of one or more child by herself, while she has to work to cover expenses. I have personally know a friend with 3 children who was divorced and was left with 3 kids to take care, while she worked 2 part-time jobs to pay her bills. Because of how I can relate to this, knowing what a woman would have to go through without a husband, I would say that he made a wise decision. On the other side however, it is not really fair to those who were young and single. Perhaps those who were married are way older and have already lived half of their lives.
Wouldn’t it be a wiser decision to save the younger one’s, for they are yet to live their lives? This short story also reminded me of the movie Titanic. It was sort of similar to the situation of the crew of the submarine. Even though they were on a ship, there were also a limited number of people who could be saved. Just like in the submarine, the captain ordered that all the women were to be the first to enter the boats, which would save them once the ship has sunk. This relates to the story because we see how the captain decides to save only women instead of men, and same in the story when the captain decided to save only married men. Another movie, which I can relate this idea of one or more people dieing to save others, would be the movie Armageddon. On of the main characters had to die, in order for the rest to survive. After all, I think that the best choice of people to be rescued from the submarine would have been 3 married men and 2 youngest guys of the crew. I have never been put in a situation like this and hope I never am, because it is a hard decision to make and there is a huge chance that you might regret it after.
Global Warming Is It Man-made or Mother Nature or Both? Rowena R. Chaple Ashford University Dependency of Man on the Environment SCI 207: Mr. Bryan Lombard August 29, 2010 Global Warming - Is It Man-Made or Mother Nature or Both? Even though some people are skeptics and believe global warming is just a smoke screen or an environmental fad to get the government to fund programs for useless research ...
I think this short story is really made to make you think about the fact that sometimes you need to scarifies one’s life to save another, instead of everyone dieing. The captain of the submarine defiantly made the right decision of killing all except 5 to ensure at least a few survive the crash. I would not agree or disagree if in fact he made the right decision of picking all married men, but all together I think he was really brave and should be remembered for what he did. Also we should all learn that there are times in life when you have to do what you got to do, in order to get the best results.