Who is a stronger person: Jimmy Valentine or Ben Price in "A Retrieved Reformation"?  

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Certainly, both Jimmy Valentine and Ben Price take risks when they make their individual decisions. While Jimmy knows that he will be arrested when people see his tools and witness his expertise at breaking into the safe that threatens the life of little Agatha, Ben Price also realizes that he will drilled about not having captured Valentine; moreover, if it becomes known that he has let Valentine go free, he may even be fired. So, there is a considerable risk on the parts of both men.  However, Jimmy has an additional risk, and that is one of losing the love of Annabel Adams.

So, if the number of risks are involved, then Jimmy Valentine has the larger number, as he stands to lose the love of his life and his freedom. After deciding upon his course of action, Jimmy displays much strength,

In a deep silence and immovable, the others watched him as if under a spell....As he went he thought he heard a far-away voice that he once knew call "Ralph!" But he never hesitated.

Ben Price possibly risks his job by acting on his conscience. When Jimmy Valentine tells him, "Well, let's go." Mr. Price tells him, "Guess you're mistaken, Mr. Spencer." And, then he "strolled down the street," an indication that Ben Price is not too worried about the consequences of his action. Therefore, it would seem that Jimmy Valentine has more to lose, and has taken the greater risks.


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