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Do you agree or disagree with Jonas's decision to take Gabriel and leave the...

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awesomemonkey23 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 7, 2011 at 5:47 PM via web

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Do you agree or disagree with Jonas's decision to take Gabriel and leave the community? Explain your position.

Do you agree or disagree with Jonas's decision to take Gabriel and leave the community? Explain your position.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:41 PM (Answer #2)

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This question should be moved to the Discussion Forum so you can get a variety of answers and reasons. It will be interesting to read the viewpoints expressed as they come in.

I agree with Jonas's decision. I think it was an incredibly brave move by Jonas - coming from the background in which he lived, the mere idea of undertaking such a risky action would be almost unthinkable. The community was structured to allow everyone to have complete security in knowing that all decisions would be made for them and that all consequences of those decisions had been predetermined and would be controlled at an acceptable level.

Jonas's conscious decision to move out of that reliable but stifling society was based on his determination that the value of having experiences and emotions that were not scripted by the community was worth the risk of physical, emotional and mental pain. That's a hard choice for anyone to make, but it's the only choice that can be made if one is to grow in real life.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 11, 2011 at 5:00 AM (Answer #3)

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This is a tough one.  Is it ethical to destroy an entire community's way of life simply because you do not think that it is right?  That is what Jonas is doing here.  He is leaving the community even though he knows full well that its whole way of life will be destroyed.

So I think that you have to answer this by determining for yourself whether the society was so bad that it needed to be destroyed.  Personally, I'm not at all sure.  I think that the society is bad, but I'm not sure that it is so evil that it needs to be destroyed at such a great emotional cost to all of its people.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 30, 2012 at 1:58 AM (Answer #4)

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The East Germans behind the Berlin Wall risked their lives to leave the world of Communism; people do such things as taking the chances of pain and death for freedom. What Jonas does with Gabriel is an authentically existential act.  One must live an existence on one's own terms.

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