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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
An enchanting tale, brilliant in its simple yet profound insight into human...
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How to balance obligation and personal freedom?

Created: 03/25/11

Replies: 6

Posted Mar. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
BookBrowse

Join Date: 11/16/10

Posts: 44

How to balance obligation and personal freedom?

A crucial theme of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is that of obligation. As the Major and Mrs. Ali discover just how much they have in common, they must balance the obligations they feel to family and tradition against their personal freedom to take their own path. Do you think they are correct in their choices? Would you have acted the same way?


Posted May. 07, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
virginiaw

Join Date: 05/07/11

Posts: 7

RE: How to balance obligation and personal freedom?

I think it was a positive for both the Major and Mrs. Ali to throw off the shackles of their respective traditions and to become the people they were meant to be. No one needs to be enslaved by tradition!


Posted May. 07, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sandrae

Join Date: 05/07/11

Posts: 4

RE: How to balance obligation and personal freedom?

I believe this balance is both an acquired skill and a very personal one. I watched Major Pettigrew constantly "rethink" his obligations to "Crown and Country"as well as to his grown son, as he becomes aware of the ways in which his friendship with Mrs. Ali enhances his life. And vice versa, of course.

I applaud them for the courage it required to follow their path; I like to believe I would have done exactly the same thing.


Posted May. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
normar

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 5

RE: How to balance obligation and personal freedom?

Both Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali struggle to balance obligation and personal freedom. So does Anima when she decides not to marry. Mrs. Ali's family were trying to separate from her life in the village and her relationship with the Major.


Posted May. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
princessa

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 10

RE: How to balance obligation and personal freedom?

Tough question. Within reason is hard to define. I want to say that matters of the heart should be immune to any sort of personal or professional obligations. I say this because it's just too much oppression on one's own happiness. Romantic love is hard enough to find. As long as there is no harm on another person (physical or mental), this sort of freedom should be given freely to all.


Posted May. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
scknitter

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 6

RE: How to balance obligation and personal freedom?

I think there is a big difference between true obligation and the perceived obligation to country and tradition. Parents have an obligation to care for and feed, clothe, etc their minor children. Adults should feel an obligation to follow through on things they have agreed to do for church, business or community. But, I don't consider it an obligation to uphold certain traditions of a culture. They are not obligated to their family or friends or neighbors to believe a certain way. Traditions are only important to adhere to if the person himself feels so. If Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali are comfortable with breaking tradition to marry then they have not let anyone else down. I don't believe a person can be a good citizen, a good neighbor, a good family member, etc if they are not happy so I think personal freedom has to come first.


Posted Jun. 02, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
phyllisr

Join Date: 05/04/11

Posts: 5

RE: How to balance obligation and personal freedom?

It is often hard to distinguish between societal imposed obligations and the ones we impose on ourselves. The important distinction is between the good or the pain that will result and to whom. Often one's family expectations result from things just having always been done, with little or no thought given to changing situations or people. Personal freedom obtained by ignoring one's obligations may result in unhappiness. The Major and Mrs. Ali were of an age to be free of important family obligations and their decisions caused no genuine pain to others and much good to themselves.


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