The Light Between Oceans Stedman Analysis

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Everyone has different perspectives about the world. These varied perspectives occur because people have different experiences that mold them. There are two main theories about perspective. They are universality and relativism. Relativism states that different things are true for different people or at different times. Whereas universality says that notions and facts are discovered and are consistent through the universe. The idea of relativism explains how different people have varied means of expression, how they have contrasting morals, and it validates conflicting wants. In The Light Between Oceans R.L. Stedmen endorses the idea of relativism as opposed to universality.
To begin, R.L. Stedman makes a case for the individuality of expression.
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Stedmen demonstrates the coexistence of moral codes and values. Isabel is faced with a moral dilemma when Hannah tells her, if she makes sure that Tom is punished for what he has done, Hannah will give her Grace/ Lucy back. This is a major dilemma because Isabel knows that Tom may be punished with a death sentence, but she also knows that Grace/ Lucy is unhappy and confused now that she is living with Hannah. Isabel is upset with Tom and considers the deal at first but she decides that she should not be able to trade one life for another. She has strong morals and can not bring herself to be the cause of someone else 's pain. Controversially, Hannah would testify that Isabel’s morals are not as strong as she thinks they are. Hannah believes that Isabel kept the baby she found to spite the mother. She thinks that anyone who could “come across a baby and keep her like a drift wood souvenir”(239), does not have strong morals. All Hannah wanted was to find her baby again but because of Isabel and Tom’s selfish and immoral actions, she was separated from her daughter for years. Hannah seems to be the one with the uncorrupted morals in this case. Although, Tom and Isabel would counter that since they were trying so hard to have a baby and not succeeding, the baby they found was a gift. They assumed that because they found a deceased man inside the boat with the baby, they were taking care of by keeping it. To Tom “honor was like a kind of antidote for some of the things he’d lived through”(47) and when they found the baby they instinctively wanted to take care of it, they never thought they were doing this to hurt someone else. Tom and Isabel were trying to save the baby’s life and give her a loving family. Thus showing how morality can be relative to one’s

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