“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…And they said, There is no
hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imaginations of his evil heart.” (Jer. 17:9, 18:12, KJV)
This persuasive essay will defend the opinion that humanity’s goodness is fleeting and fragile at best as depicted in Divergent (2011) by Veronica Roth. It is the opinion of this author that goodness is unsustainable by humanity as a whole. Four factors threatening mankind’s ability to maintain moral goodness are pride, power, and impatience. This paper will explore examples of each of these factors from Roth’s novel intertwined with other relevant media examples to defend the concept of mankind’s inability to sustain goodness. From an evaluation of humanity’s need for pride and power to a probe into impatience’s contribution in the destruction of morality this author will demonstrate the fragility of goodness among men. Let us now begin this exploration with the revelation of the importance of pride and power.
Webster defines pride as a “proud behavior or treatment; insolence; arrogance; distain” (Webster’s, 1939). Being proud is acceptable, even good, to a certain extent. Having pride in the way you look, your handwriting, or something you take seriously. People take pride in the little things that are personal and loved individually. Being a little prideful can lead to confidence; however people often mistake arrogance (an exaggerated pride) for confidence. Prideful people seek to prove their superiority in every aspect of their lives Roth provides the reader with a vivid illustration of this exaggerated pride. The initiates in her novel are supplied with multiple opportunities to strut their stuff. In order to gain entrance into the faction of their choice they compete in various trials. Competition is designed to improve individual skill levels and determine placement. Peter, one of the most prideful people ever created, stabbed a knife in the eye of Edward because his pride was injured when he came in second place (pp. 198-203). This is an example of what happens when the positive human attribute of pride swells and becomes wickedly intertwined with a lustful desire for power.
Power defined by Webster (1939) as “the possession of sway or controlling influence over others; also a person or government; invested with authority or influence or exercising control”. ...