Essay about Good and Evil: High Noon

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The movie "High Noon" has interesting comparisons to the philosophies and views of Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. It would be easy to analyze the lead character Kane as mirroring the philosophical views of Kant. This paper will analyze the somewhat contradictory actions of other characters which, to me, represent a quintessential truth about personal beliefs – that they are changed according to situation. I will be commenting on two characters in the movie which show a change in the views of the characters in relation to situational factors. We will be looking at Amy Kane and Mayor Jonas Henderson.
Amy is Kane's new wife. She is a religious woman, a pacifist Quaker, who chose this lifestyle in response to having
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Jonas felt a duty to protect his friend and an obligation to provide the greatest happiness to Kane and his new wife. Kane says “I think I should stay”. Jonas replies, “Are you crazy? Think of Amy”. Kane reluctantly leaves, but leaves quickly. As Kane rides off with his horses at a gallop, Jonas is shown with a proud look on his face, his duty accomplished.
As I said in the introduction, Kane’s belief system mirrors the philosophical views of Kant. Running was never an option. Not too far down the road, Kane’s sense of duty turns him around and heads him back into town and back into danger. In Kane’s attempt to recruit deputies he is forced to interrupt Sunday church services asking for help. Jonas is in attendance. After much debate, Jonas takes the floor and begins to speak. Jonas’ speech is totally void of any partiality, it is a very rational explanation of what he feels needs to be done. He states that what the town owes Kane, it could never pay back and that Kane is the best Marshall they ever had and maybe will ever have but the town is growing and cannot afford for there to be killing in the streets if they are to enjoy any prosperity. Jonas states that Kane did not have to return and that he wishes he had not. It is possible that with Kane gone, Miller will do nothing. Jonas then asks a second time for Kane to leave town but this time Jonas’ decision was not a mixture but pure Mill’s philosophy of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism asks us to maximize