Ricardo Perez

Ms. G.

English ? – Period 6

18 May 2019

Research Paper

Moral codes or laws are self, or government implied beliefs about actions that should not be committed in a society. Most people believe rules, and laws should be followed, but can be broken if a person’s life is in danger. It is acceptable to break moral codes or laws for protection in order to avoid life-threatening situations, which is proven by Jenn in the podcast Serial, Elie in the book Night, and Sojourner Truth from the abolitionist movement.

Serial is a podcast about a teenage boy named Adnan Syed who was convicted for hurting his girlfriend Hae-Min Lee. Jenn is girl who tries to ruin Adnan’s image with her story about the day Hae disappeared. It is acceptable to break moral codes or laws for protection because Jenn does so by lying about her knowledge about the involvement of of one of her close friends Jay in the disappearance of Hae.

In fact Sarah, the host of the podcast says that Jenn got instructed by Jay to let the police know about her knowledge which she got from him, but she lied to the police by saying that she did not know anything about Hae. (Koenig, “Inconsistencies”). On february twenty-sixth after finding out that someone made six calls to Jenn on Adnan’s phone the day Hae disappeared, the police arrives at Jenn’s house to get her to talk to them about the day Hae went missing. She refuses, and decides to go to Jay’s workplace on the same day to tell him that the cops wanted to talk to her, and to ask him about what she should say to the police.

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After being told by Jay to tell them all she knew because Jay had told her, and let the police know that they should check in on him, Jenn makes the decision to go to the police, and goes against the general normality by lying. Jenn tells the police that she was not aware of anything having to do with Hae. Jenn did this in order to safeguard herself and Jay from the police suspicion of their contribution to making Hae disappear because before Jay, Jenn is the first person the police go to because they believe Jay had called her six times. Therefor Jenn lied to make the cops believe that Jay also didn’t know anything which would result in them both being erased from the police view which in this situation is right because both Jay, and Jenn’s lives were alarmed with the fact that they would have potentially been charged for accessory, and put in jail for letting the police in on the in-depth knowledge they had about Hae.

Night is a book that lays an insight of several German concentration camps as told by the author Elie Wiesel, a Jewish boy who is forced to reside in these anti-semitic camps. It is acceptable to break moral code or laws because Elie does so by not fasting. In fact Elie says, “I did not fast mainly to please my father who had forbidden me to do so but further there was no longer any reason why is should fast i no longer accepted God’s silence” (Weisel 51). As the Day Of Atonement of Yom Kippur came the Jews contemplated not fasting due to the already limited supply of food they were given by the German SS officers. The Jews believed that fasting at this point would be suicide so some decide to quit fasting but others didn’t to prove to their God that no matter what the circumstance they were still capable of praying, and worshipping to him. Elie however goes against this, and breaks his religious ethics by not continuing to fast in order to protect himself from what he thinks is false hope from his God, and to prevent himself from starving to death as these factors imply that Elie is frustrated by the fact that their God has not brought anything positively impactful for the Jews. Since Elie was worshipping his god through the means of fasting he decides to stop because he does not want to put himself under the allusion that his god will eventually bring prosperity into their lives. Elie’s choice would be the correct one as he was risking his life in order to follow his religious norm by almost starving himself to death. Isabella Baumfree, more commonly known as Sojourner Truth was a former african american slave who traveled throughout the U.S.,and advocated women’s emancipation, and the abolition of slavery. It is acceptable to break moral codes or laws for protection because Sojourner Truth does so by breaking New York’s slave emancipation law of 1828 by running away from her owner John Dumont a year prior to in 1827. In fact articles say, “ In 1817, the New York State Legislature passed a law granting eventual emancipation to slaves born before July 4, 1799. The legislation stipulated that Isabella and others in her situation would have to wait ten years for her freedom. So she did not become a free woman until July 4, 1827.As the date for her emancipation drew closer, she realized that Dumont did not intend to set her free. Instead, he wanted her to make up the work time that she had lost during an earlier illness. Showing what her biographer Victoria Ortiz has described as “a strength and independence of spirit,” Isabella left Dumont in 1826, one year earlier than she was permitted. Her goal was to retrieve her son Peter. Even though slaves were not allowed to be sold outside of the state, Peter had passed through the hands of several owners until he was sold to a Southern plantation owner in Alabama. Believing in the justice of the law, Isabella was determined to free her son, and spent the next year and a half working with a lawyer in Kingston”.

(Author, Paragraph #). Sojourner Truth was sold to John Dumont of New Paltz Landing in 1810, with whom she worked under for 17 years. In 1817 the New York Legislature passed a law that would grant eventual emancipation of slaves born before july 4, 1799. This was good for Truth as she was born in 1797, however since this law stated eventual emancipation the state legislature believed the slaves would have to wait another ten years, until 1827 to become free. As part of a private agreement Truth’s owner decided to let her and her youngest child leave a year earlier than permitted. Truth later found out that her owner was actually going to take back his offer, and actually make her stay a year after the slaves were set free. At the same time she became aware of the fact that her son Peter had been illegally sold into slavery inside of alabama, and as a result Sojourner Truth decided to break the law by running away from her owner in 1826, a year before slaves were going to be set free. She did this in order to protect her son peter from the bone-crushing, limb-breaking work, and treatment that slaves were given inside of their owners plantations. The decision Sojourner Truth made is the correct one because her life would’ve remained in danger due to the cruel, and harsh punishment she would have gotten from John Dumont.

These topics may have little to no connection to one or the other, but they all do have one thing in common. It is acceptable to break moral codes or laws for protection when in a life threatening situation. Jennifer Pusateri broke the moral code of her personality to protect herself and Jay from being charged with accessory. Elie Wiesel broke the moral code of the belief that God was eventually going to bring them prosperity in order to protect himself from starving to death. Sojourner Truth broke the law of slave emancipation to protect herself and her son from the cruel, and harsh punishments of slavery. All of these people had their lives threatened which is why they were forced to break their morals or laws. It is acceptable to break moral codes or laws for protection because it can cause realization, and reform. The rapid breaking of morals or laws can cause the leaders of communities to realize that what they were enacting upon their society might not be right, which can in turn cause leaders to change them in order to make them right or completely remove them from a society for the better of the community.

Works Cited

“Inconsistencies.” Serial from Serial Podcast, 3 October-18 December 2014,

“Truth, Sojourner”,Gale Contextual Encyclopedia Of American Literature, ed.8, vol.4, 2009, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 19 May 2019.

“Ain’t I A Woman?”, Gender Issues And Sexuality: Essential Primary Sources, 2006, pars. 12-14, Global Reference On The Environment, Energy, And Natural Resources, Accessed 19 May 2019.

Wiesel, Elie. Night. New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 2000.

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English Essay. (2019, Dec 08). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/english-essay-244-best-essay/

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