Joan Didion On Morality

874 Words 4 Pages
Upon being asked by The American Scholar, essayist Joan Didion discusses her views of morality in her “On Morality”, where she interprets the origins of morality. Didion reasons a point that the ying yang of morality was created by humans blindly passing on their own ideas of wrong and right to others. She develops this perspective by describing anecdotes with a cool absurdity and imagery, causing readers to understand, using personal connection, how we as humans create the ideas of good and bad morality without clear definition of what either truly are.
Didion introduces her essay by setting the scene; she’s in a motel room in July in Death Valley, California, trying to cool off in the 119° heat. By introducing Death Valley, she fills the reader with a negative connotation. This area is the most inhospitable in the continental United States; it is named for what happens most within it: death. This already enforces something seen typically as bad or evil within the human race. Setting Death Valley as the location creates an area where morality, what is good and what is bad, is a blurred line because of the situation one will be gripped with in this
…show more content…
She has used an interpersonal tone to lead up to this large claim, and now she vocalizes what she thinks of how morality is being utilized absurdly. She claims it’s being used to explain things that aren’t “moral”, and it is here that she truly elaborates that humankind really has no clue what good and bad morality really is and that we create it for ourselves. In her words, we are trying to convince ourselves “that it is a moral imperative” to have things, but we cannot base our desires on any form of morality because our desires have nothing to do with what is right and what is

Related Documents