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What Idea(S) Does The Author Develop Regarding The Basis For And Impact Of Individual’s Choices?

1605 words - 7 pages

Humans have a tendency to think of their wants and needs, so they plan their life accordingly. However, life isn't perfect and nor are the plans that individuals make. The choices made each day demonstrate an important part of one's ideals and moral values but these strong pillars of identity weaken as problems worsen. The basis for and impact of choices is portrayed very well in the movie The Quiz show, staring Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro and Rob Morrow. The movie shows that the basis for an individual’s choices depends on that individual's interest and values, hunger for success and the fear of tarnishing their reputation. These three components are easy to notice in others, yet considered insignificant enough to not acknowledge in ourselves. All of these individual components also have a huge impact on an individual's pride and ego, which itself is an issue that impacts an individual’s decision-making.

Success, the thing most desire, yet very few attain is one of the major causes of devastation in the movie. Charles Van Doren, Herbert Stempel, Dan Enright and Albert Freedman undergo immense change in the process of decision making and doing the right thing. The text shows how all of them got more than they bargained for, which ultimately led to their downfall. A quote that depicts the further dilemmas and responses of the characters mentions, “everything comes with a price because there is no such thing as a free lunch in the world”. The story begins with a polite and naïve Charles Van Doren, who was known solely because of his renowned father, Mark Van Doren. In fact, when Charles came to interview for Tic-Tac-Dough, one individual named Elizabeth began her conversation with Charles by mentioning, “Excuse me, are you the son?” This led to Charles questioning his own identity and almost feeling insulted because he always feels as if he has no identity of his own. Likewise, Jack Barry wondered, “Why would a guy like that want to be on a quiz show?” These two judgements towards Charles may have seemed reasonable to the by-standers, yet they became the cause of his wrongdoings, which created conflicts in his life later on. By questioning himself, Charles was prompted to think further about his life, goals and priorities.

Charles had originally demonstrated his values by saying no to cheating in the show but agreed mainly because he wanted to achieve equal if not greater wealth than his famous father. For this reason, it seemed as if Charles Van Doren was almost pressured into making the wrong decision. The pressure Charles endured from the producers, Dan Enright and Albert Freedman played a huge factor in his downfall as well and this pressure led to the change in his moral decisions. These moral values and interests became a major aspect of the film during the family picnic, where Charles was struggling to reveal nothing about the quiz show to Dick Goodwin. Charles Van Doren wanted to protect his family from being harmed by reporters such...

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