Definition of Moral Dualism
Moral dualism is conflict and complement between malevolence and benevolence. This is based on the spiritual belief that the two opposing sides are common among religions worldwide, which is cosmological dualism. On the other hand, mind-body dualism is the conflict between an individual’s mind and body. Therefore, there are two moral opposites, had opposed each other hand the individual’s or society’s fair play a key role in their interpretation.
In religions, deity represents the relationship between creation and deity. Creation motifs and myths have the concept of dualism. The universe is influenced, created, and organized by two mythological beings, which are believed to be of equal importance and contrast between evil and good, as illustrated by the various anthropological and ethnographic works of literature (Mikačić).
This moral dualism essay will compare and contrast Huron Creation Myth, Moby Dick, and The Scarlet Letter, representing various perceptions of duality. The three stories define those different aspects of duality as perceptive in societies across time, all of which involve deities. In the three stories, deities tend to hold the ideals which are the basis of human morals; however, the particular role and nature of the deity change across time and the setting of the community.
Wyandot and Huron
The three stories have a being that possesses supernatural attributes based on beliefs that have existed across time. The Wyandot and Huron believed that two kinds of spirits facilitated the creation of the universe, both of which continue to possess power that is endowed upon the human beings, represented by the diversity of the universe of good and evil monsters.
Along with this class of mythological beings, the sky gods are represented by the moon and Sun and the race of giants and dwarfs that roam the sky. Therefore duality is a common concept in the Wyandot and Huron’s perception of the, with the contrast between the dwarfs and monsters, the good and bad monsters, and the Sun, which dominates during the day, and the moon, which overlooks the night (Fowke). The myth fails to explain the ultimate origin of these beings and why there is an essential aspect of human existence.
The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter is a story about punishment bestowed upon a young woman who had a child outside the Wedlock. A crowed witness to the woman, Hester is punished through humiliation with a scarlet letter “A” is printed on her clothes, something that she will possess for the rest of her life. The main theme of the story is social stigmatization for people who violate a social norm. This is a means of enforcing social order and compliance.
The people who uphold the good norm are the judge and the victim of the social stigmatization represents the bad in society, “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” (Hawthorne). The cosmological dualism represented in this story is based on Christianity.
There are two opposing good, the evil god, which leads Hester to sin, and the moral god betrayed by sinning. However, Hester holds a moral high ground by refusing to disclose the father’s identity to her “illegitimate” child. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is expected to uphold the moral as prescribed by the Church, smoothing that he betrays by engaging in an extramarital affair with Hester, causing her social stigmatization (Coale). The guild of his betrayal to the people haunts him through his life.
There is a mind-body dualism due to the involvement of sex. The body is expected to be vulnerable to sine, something that the mind is expected to oppose due to the consideration of moral uprightness and the consequences of sin. According to ethical dualism, Hester represents sin and moral decadence; while the people while the society represent the good.
In the story “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville, Ishmael discloses his intent to take a whaling voyage. Dualism is evident in the story due to the integration of significant figures in the Abrahamic mythology, as used in the Christian and Islam religions in the modern-day setting in Massachusetts. The mythological whale possesses intelligence and will, unlike the case in real life, representing the influence of the mythical Judeo-Christian God, in the reality of modern-day society.
Ishmael’s whaling represents the modern-day individual attempt to explore the work, understand the world, and reveal their inadequacies. Therefore, it is learning that cosmological dualism is an integral part of the story due to the involvement of the Judea-Christian religion, which has two forces that oppose each other. The whale, which represents the perception of “God,” reveals the dualism within deity, whereby the god is capable of both good and evil.
Conflict between the Individual and the Society
Another form of duality is the conflict between the individual and the society and the role that group thing played in corrupting the good intent of the individual (Herman). Queequeg is the representation of good, as he conducts be behavior according to the confines of the Christian religion, with love and purity. Captain Ahab, on the other hand, is the representation of cruelty and selfishness.
Moral Dualism Essay Conclusion
In conclusion, the concept of duality is evident in the three stories; however, various forms of duality involve ethical and cosmological duality. However, the deity is an integral part of moral duality. Two forces are deemed to influence and represent mythological creatures, representing the idealism that may not exist in reality.
- Coale, Samuel. “The Scarlet Letter Casts Its Shadow.”
- Fowke, Edith. “10. Folktales and Folk Songs.” Literary History of Canada. University of Toronto Press, 2019. 177-187.
- Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The scarlet letter: 1850. Infomotions, Incorporated, 1850.
- Herman, Melville. Moby Dick. Strelbytskyy Multimedia Publishing, 2020.
- Mikačić, Anđelina. Dualities in Christopher Marlowe’s the Tragical History of Doctor Faustus and Morality Plays. Diss. University of Rijeka. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Department of English Language and Literature., 2019.