Greed and Weakness

Matchstick Men is a story about con artists, their relationship with each other, and their relationship with their con. It stars Nicolas Cage as Roy Waller, Sam Rockwell as Frank Mercer and Alison Lohman as Angela.

 

Roy is a seasoned con man with obsessive compulsive disorder who works with Frank a less experienced but more enthusiastic partner. When the story opens Roy and Frank are running a telemarketing scam taking an initial few hundred dollars from each victim. Then following up posing as agents sent to catch the con artists, they gain access to the victim’s bank accounts.

 

When Roy accidentally drops his medication down the drain, Frank finds him a psychiatrist to see so he can gain access to medication. The psychiatrist puts Roy in touch with a 14 year old daughter he never knew and offers him a week’s supply of medication for each visit.

 

Frank convinces Roy to work a con with a much bigger pay-off. The two put an $80,000 scam together but the plan goes awry when Frank’s daughter Angela gets pulled in as a diversion. The victim uses Angela’s booking photo (she was arrested for shop lifting) to find Frank and Roy and attempts to extort money from the trio but Angela shoots him in defense.

 

Frank awakens in a hospital which turns out to be a façade. He discovers it isn’t real only after he has given his banking information to the man he thought to be his psychiatrist. Frank has been conned out of his life’s savings approximately a million dollars.

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There were several ethical dilemmas in this comedy. I will focus on three: the “prescription” Frank’s psychiatrists provides him, the deception of the victim enticed by his own greed, and the conning of the con artist.

 

When Frank visits his new psychiatrist it is for one purpose only. Frank is out of his prescription medication and his illegal connection has dried up. There’s only one way the psychiatrist can keep Frank coming in and that is to give him a weekly prescription of pills that help him to control his OCD tendencies. The psychiatrist, who we later find is not really a psychiatrist, gives Frank a soy based hormonal supplement for menopause. Although it is not medication for his condition, Frank feels better when taking it. When Frank confronts the psychiatrist with the truth, the psychiatrist responds that he was doing better while taking the soy supplements before he knew what they were.

 

In conversation with his psychiatrist Frank explains the difference between who he is and who a criminal is. His victims “give” him their money and he has never taken money from anyone who didn’t “let” him out of “greed or weakness” and he never uses violence. What part does the victim play in the con?  When Frank and Roy plan to take $80,000 from their big stakes victim, could it have been accomplished without the victim’s own greed playing a part? Likewise with the housewife in the opening con, if her greed had not played in to the opportunity to get a new car would she have given them the $700 they’d asked for? And then if not for her husband’s weakness (anger) would they have been able to gain access to their account?

 

Roy puts together an elaborate plan to con Frank out of his life’s savings. He hires a daughter, a psychiatrist, police officers and a victim. Together they manipulate Frank into believing he has developed a loving relationship, has gained control of his OCD tendencies and should give up his career as a con artist in an attempt to play a more active role in his daughter’s life. Frank is initially brought in to this con by his greed and is blinded by his weakness, the loving relationship he has developed with his daughter. He is then the victim, being conned out of the money he has conned so many others out of in his career.

 

The two fallacies I detected in this story were ad hominem and two wrongs make a right. In the case of the ad hominem fallacy the argument being that it was not  wrong of Roy to manipulate Frank’s emotions and mental state to gain access to his money. The fallacy would put the attention on Frank’s character and his repeated disregard for the emotional well being of others. In the case of the two wrongs make a right the argument would propose that Roy was only following the “Golden Rule” and doing unto Frank what he had done unto so many others.

 

I picked this movie because I am a huge fan of Nicholas Cage and I’d never seen it before. It was entertaining and thought provoking. Admittedly, I was sucked into the con along with Frank. Although he was a “bad guy” taking money from housewives and hopefuls, his flaws made him more likeable. I felt a personal connection to him; his stutter, twitches, door closings and obsessive cleaning endured me to him and I was truly disappointed in Roy for taking advantage of his friend. It was not until the end when Frank tells Angela he “gave” her the money that I truly connected him to his victims. Earlier he’d stated that his victims had given him the money out of greed or weakness and he was admitting his own weakness to her.

 

I personally find con artists detestable. The term matchstick man was initially a term used for a stick figure.  It became a slang definition for a con artist because they create temporary personas that are fleeting and simple. Take away my Nicholas Cage groupie status and the lovable quirkiness of his character Frank and I’d say he almost got what he deserved. He and the rest of the list of characters should have been jailed for their crimes and the money they stole should have been returned to their victims. But that would not have been as good a movie.

We’ve got a winner!

Requiem for a Dream follows the stories of Sara Goldfarb, her son Harry and his girlfriend Marion Silver through three seasons of a year in New York. In the beginning of the movie Harry is regularly selling his mother’s television set to fund his heroin addiction. Harry and his friend Tyrone come up with a plan to make money selling drugs around Coney Island. They are successful during the summer and Harry and Marion have hopes of opening a fashion store selling Marion’s designs. During this time Sara, who is an avid watcher of infomercials, receives a calls saying she has been chosen to be on television. She becomes fixated on fitting into the red dress she wore to Harry’s graduation so that she can wear it when she goes on television. After struggling with a diet at first, she goes to a doctor who prescribes her amphetamine pills to lose weight.

As fall begins Tyrone gets caught in the middle of a drug gang shooting and is arrested which substantially cuts into the money he and Harry made from selling drugs over the summer. Because of the drug gang war it becomes near impossible to obtain drugs. Sara has become increasingly addicted to the amphetamine pills and is hallucinating that the refrigerator is attacking her and that she is in the infomercials that she watches on television.

In winter begins Harry, Marion and Tyrone have run out of money and drugs. Harry and Tyrone decide to go to Florida to get drugs and Marion exchanges sexual acts for heroin in New York. On the drive to Florida Harry’s arm becomes infected from unsanitary injections and they are forced to take him to a hospital where he and Tyrone are arrested. Sara’s addiction has increased and she takes the subway to the television studio in Manhattan to ask when she will be put on television. The police are called and she is committed to a psychiatric ward in a hospital.

There are a handful of ethical issues in this movie but I’d like to focus on Sara’s need to lose weight at the expense of her health and Marion’s willingness to do anything for the drugs she desires.

Sara starts the amphetamine pills without knowing that they can be harmful and addictive. However, when Harry confronts her about their danger, Sara tells him that the idea of being on television has given her a reason to live and it has given her importance among the other women in the apartment complex. She had been living so long without husband and with a distant and troubled son that she needed to feel like she was achieving something. Even though I have watched this movie several times, I have never understood the significance of the infomercial she watches constantly or her desire to be on that specifically. Even though it is an ethical decision to continue the pills after Harry has warned her about their danger, at a certain point I believe that it was no longer a decision for Sara to keep taking them because she was so far into her psychosis to have any real grip on reality and make a conscious decision to stop or continue the pills.

Marion has several instances where she compromises herself sexually for what she needs. She first is talked into having sex with her psychiatrist for money so that Harry can buy drugs. There is an implication that this is not the first time she has been with this man and has received favors from him before in exchange for sex. Later when she has been without heroin for a few days she decides to go to a man that she knows will only give her drugs in exchange for sex. Despite her saying that she is not an addict, he knows that she will do anything to get her drug fix and takes advantage of that by putting her in a “sex show” for a group of men. It seems like she has long ago devalued herself as far sex goes. It is not something that she is afraid to use to get what she wants however, she has some self-hatred for doing these things. 

Green Tomatoes, Salt, Flour, Buttermilk, Cornmeal, Egg, Oil, & Bread Crumbs

FGT

Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy act in a movie about two women, Evelyn and Ninny, who meet in an Alabama nursing home. Evelyn is a unhappy housewife and finds solace and inspiration in the stories Ninny tells. The movie progresses through stories that Ninny shares of Idgie’s experiences growing up with her best friend Ruth. From losing family members and friends to surviving abusive relationships, Idgie was able to make a new life with new people and a new restaurant. At the climax of the movie, Frank the abuser was found dead and all fingers pointed to Idgie and her cook, Big George. With support of the community, charges were dropped. By the end, Evelyn and Ninny moved in together and shared a similiar life changing story of overcoming lifes obstacles.

The entire movie was made up of small ethical issues that centralized around the theme of what’s right and what’s legal. Small situations like Evelyn ramming her vehicle into a car that overtook her parking spot was an emotional justification but definitely an illegal action. Because the bias of the movie leaned towards our star actresses who by the way created a smiling moment from the depths of despair, it was hard to argue that their actions were nothing more than justified. Two major ethical dilemmas did stick out for me and it was the death of Frank and the lesbian love shared between Idgie and Ruth.

Frank’s was a low life drunk who beat on Ruth, Idgie’s best friend. In one scene, Ruth was trying to leave Frank and the home they lived in. Idgie and Big George helped her escape his threshold but only after Frank got a few shots in on both Idgie and Ruth. After the move out, Frank popped back into the movie while attempting to kid nap Buddy Jr. The following scenes was a dead frank and his truck at the bottom of a lake. After court litigation, Big George and Idgie were found innocent by the judge after a minister provided the alibi for their whereabouts during the incident. The truth of the matter is that Sipsey, a chef at Ruth’s restaurant, killed frank with an iron skillet. The dilemma here is murder. Is it truly justified? On one end of the spectrum, Frank may have been a sick man in need of help. During those times though there was little opportunity for reformation and justice seemed to settle itself until the officials caught wind of murder. At the other end, the movie perspective, Frank was a bad guy and deserved to die, thus the minister lying and Sypsey’s murderous actions, can all be chalked up to “he got what was coming to him”. The dilemma that stands here is if murder can justify a bad person’s actions and can any person deliver this judgement.

The next major dilemma, which is more of an issue in those times than now, is the lesbian love shared between Ruth and Idgie. This is an issue that was researched beyond the movie and correlates with the novel which the movie is based on. In the movie these two best friends shared a life that could be a dreamy romance if it was a man and woman. Idgie, the tomboy, saves Ruth, the pregnant and abused, from her former life and starts a new life in a new place with a successful business. The archnemesis rolls into town and the love that these two friends have for each other prevails and even the court system can not separate them. The real dilemma here is that the movie only shows hints of this lesbian tale while the novel makes it an obvious situation. The movie in itself thus becomes the ethical dilemma. The producers and writers changed the story to accomodate the 1990s appeal and viewers. The dilemma is an ongoing one to this day, where two people of the same sex can share what a “traditional” couple shares. The movie follows Evelyn’s mundane marriage and mirrors it to the exciting deep friendship of Idgie and Ruth. Watching the movie, viewers would probably be more inclined to follow the exciting life of two woman friends than figure out the unworkings of marriage. 

In the case of the virtues of murder, the characters in this movie mostly saw it fit that Frank was killed. On top of that they were more than compliant to have the community defend their position namely a religious figure, a minister. They were incahoots and in short, every viewer (with me) was too. The characters commited no fallacy in this dilemma. Frank deserved death and although most prefered a slow and painful death, murder by skillet was fine by them. In the case of lesbianism, the movie itself portrayed it in a subtle way while the novel openly involved Ruth and Idgie. The characters did not fully envelop this love bond between friends but it also did not deny that there could be something there. The fallacy here is the appeal to probability. Directors did not stage lesbian love in the movie as strongly as written in the novel because there was a probablity that it would receive bad reviews and movie mark ups. The truth is that the movie was still highly supported by the gay and lesbian community and revered as an oscar winner.

Personally, I find that Frank’s death was justified. I am a true believer of what comes around goes around. In those days how can a white male be prosecuted in the south for beating his wife? No judge would clear this and It was probably a work of God (through friends) that Idgie and Big George were freed from the charges. Frank was an evil man and his actions spoke of it. Since times are different now, if this case were to pop up, I’d definitely be attracted to the condition of reformation. I dont think people should die, instead I think that there should be an opportunity for redemption. The only problem is that this opportunity is not around every corner. For the time being, I am content with justice serving itself through the righteous and good. In terms of the lesbian issue, I am prideful of my aunties who live in this genre, and I was appauled (although not totally surprised) to learn that the essence of the book was shaped to fit the viewers. In a way though, I was happy to find that they did not reject the idea of a true love between Ruth and Idgie, and it made the movie less convoluted with all the other ethical issues going on. I think friendship breeds love and that love can grow to infinite level regardless of race,sex, or creed.

I recommend this movie to any Modular Blogger!

The Story Of Us (the story of many)

The Story of Us demonstrates a bleak insight at the fallout of the traditional American family.  Ben and Kate Jordan met at work and married soon thereafter; proceeding to have two kids and a middle class mom and dad lifestyle.  Ben is a writer and Kate works as a crossword puzzle author.  Both Ben and Kate started with creative careers and were absolutely steaming for each other.  Somehow, they ended up focusing too much on raising their kids and maintaining their household that in the midst of the day to day routine – they lost the connection, the spark.  The film takes the viewer in spades through the ups and mostly the downs of the confrontation and lack thereof within an average married couple in American society and the ride of discussions regarding divorce.

The film highlights the joyful moments within the history of the relationship at hand which includes when Ben and Kate got pregnant and when they had their kids.  In my opinion the movie suggests that one of the failures or downfalls of the marriage was a critical disconnect of communication.  This is one ethical issue I encountered; the need to maintain a healthy line of communication between spouses is a key to survival in a family.  I also believe that a trigger to this effect was the establishment of the “life with kids” institution.  Soccer games, clarinet lessons, school events… it is very easy for a coupe to lose sight of how the family came to be.  Kate feels as if she is the “designated drive” of the relationship.  She is the pragmatic, organized, responsible and for lack of a better word… the predictable one.  Kate takes comfort in structure and knowledge.  Ben is the spontaneous, fly by the edge of your seat, silly and fun partner.  Ben revels in impulsive and natural behavior and believes it to be essential in order to take the edge off of day to day turmoil.  Clearly, this makes for a dire clash of personalities.  During the film, each spouse solely discusses their thoughts about the course of the 15 year marriage and at one point, Kate says that arguing was the exception, and then it became the condition.  Ben is tired of feeling unwanted and unappreciated.  He misses the relationship they had before marriage and before kids.  He refers to the “fun girl” Kate used to be frequently in the midst of heated arguments.  The couple experiences many furious and painstaking fights in which all they do is blame each other for the unhappiness each is undergoing.  The finger-pointing is overwhelming to watch.  Sometimes it was as if they were boxing but instead of gloves and fists they used hurtful words and slammed doors.  It is distinguished that a healthy communication line between couples is essential to not only the couples themselves but essential to the well-being of the people around them (i.e. the kids); this is why this is an ethical issue.

For many years, Ben and Kate struggled trying to heal the damage that had occurred in the relationship.  They consulted several therapists and even decided to take a trip to Europe in an attempt to rekindle the flame while the kids were away at summer camp one year.  While in Italy, the couple seemed to have found romance and each other again.  Unfortunately, they come to find that merely taking themselves out of their element and placing a beautiful backdrop in the picture is not a long term solution to deep-rooted issues.  The couple continued to have the same problems the moment they land back home.  At this point, the couple noticeably stays together just for the sake of the children.  This plugs together the next ethical issue that I was drawn to in the film.  Is it right to stay in a dysfunctional relationship for the sake of the children?  Although some argue that divorce rates are sky high now in comparison to past times, the fact is that many wed couples stay in harmful relationships because they deem it necessary for the well-being of the children.  Kate and Ben do a fit job of protecting the kids once they realize they are separating.  Both of their focuses seem to be held upon the wellness of their kids and how to best introduce the transition of divorce to them.  However, they spent many years fighting aloud in the house where the kids can hear them.  Is it morally just to believe that sticking it out is the best solution for the entire family when a relationship has turned bitterly sour?  The characters did not fully encompass the entire picture when it comes to this aspect; nevertheless, it is transparent all things considered that both parties wanted the best for the family as a whole and as individuals despite the brutal hurtful word battles that transpired.

I did not reference the end of the movie at all because it sugar coats what are very real issues within families today.  I feel the meat of the film lied within the first hour and thirty minutes of the one hour and forty minute movie.  To sum up, Ben and Kate have a brief yet emotionally intense and condensed conversation about all the reasons they should stay together.  The film ends leaving you under the assumption that they lived happily ever after together.  Years of profound issues do not get resolved with a sudden epiphany while one picks up their children from a campsite on the day they were going to announce their divorce.

Yeah, sell my body for a piano? Sure, why not?

 

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The movie “The Piano,” begins with a mute Scotswoman, Ada, who is sold into marriage by her father to a New Zealand frontiersman. A ship’s crew drops off Ada and her daughter, Flora, on a beach with her belongings. Her piano gets left be hide due to insufficient men being able to carry her items to her new home. Baines, a man who lives in their community, becomes attracted to her and surprises her by retrieving the piano. In time, they fall in love. However, Ada’s husband finds out and threatens both of them. But in the end, he gives up and ends their marriage.

In the film, there are multiple ethical dilemmas. First, Ada and Baines make an agreement over the ownership of the piano. Baines tells her that she can buy her piano back. However, she needs to visit him every week and give him “lessons.” These lessons consist of her playing the piano and allowing him to do “anything that he desires.” Ada agrees and visits him every week. The ethical dilemma in this situation is that she is married. She is fully aware that Baines has feelings for her and knows that he wants something more. In one scene, he asks her to undress herself and just lay down with him naked. This is not proper way for a married person to act. It would be considered immoral. Yet, she does it and continues to visit him.

In addition, the second ethical dilemma is Ada committing adultery. After “buying back” her piano, she goes to Baines’ house. Knowing well that she will be hurting her husband and daughter, who has become close to her new “papa,” she starts the affair. She goes back to visit him and reveals her feelings for him. Once she demonstrates that she desires him, he takes her to bed. In society, this is considered to be morally wrong. She breaks the promise that she makes to her husband and pursues a relationship with another man. Therefore, she is betraying her husband and daughter.

The ethical positions that Ada takes in the films are doing things that will only benefit her. For example, when she makes the arrangement with Baines, she selfishly did it for herself. Reason being, she was willing to do anything to retrieve the piano. She felt that getting her piano back was more important than being loyal to her husband. She fooled her husband in believing that she was only giving Baines “lessons” and nothing more. Second, she begins a relationship with another man. She betrays his trust and takes advantage of his kindness. She pursues her desires and hurts her husband and daughter in the process.

Furthermore, there are some fallacies in the film. Ada’s husband finds out about the affair and threatens their relationship. He believes that by hurting Ada, he cuts her index finger, will scare her to stop the affair and be faithful to him. This is not true. Reason being, her feeling her Baines will not change. He cannot make someone to be faithful by force; it is something that comes naturally. Therefore, his decision to scare Ada to be faithful is not correct.

Overall, the ethical issues that are brought up in this film are real life situations that occur in many people’s lives. I cannot support the ethical position that Ada decides to take in this film, but I can understand why she did it. She was force into a marriage that she did not want to be in, and she was force to give up her most valued belonging: her piano. In the end, she did what made her happy and decided that it was worth the consequences.

Everyone Pretend To Be Normal!!!!

Little Miss Sunshine

This movie is center around a dysfunctional family that is trying to deal with each other and function in their daily lives. There is the mother named Sheryl, The father named Richard, the brother named Dwayne, the uncle named Uncle Frank, and the grandfather they call grandpa. When little Olive gets a callback from a Little Miss Sunshine Pageant that she attended during her past summer she is beyond ecstatic and begs and pleads to go. So the whole family attends and make it a family trip, with some coerced, head to California for the official pageant. On the way there this family runs into several obstacles and trails that test them as individuals and ultimately brings them together as a family.

For each main character there were many things that affected each and each of them carries a different but ultimately same fallacy. When watching this movie I see that there were some unethical situations that had contradicted what the character had actually stood for. Such as in the movie a lot of the time they use the phrase “We are a family and family sticks together”, well their actions do not really display that type of thought process. The character Dwayne has taken a vow of silence in order to display his determination to get into the Air Force to become a Fighter Piolet. His simple but propionate display of separation through silence is his way of trying to distance himself from his family members and to not be associated with them. Even though they claim that they are a united family they do not truly believe this til the very end when they had a tragedy show them how much they needed each other. Another situation that did not seem ethical was all through out the movie the father Richard was obsessed with winning and made it seem like the only people who are successful, happy, gifted, talented, educated, and willing to to preserver were the people who won all the time. Anyone else was just a loser that was lazy, stupid, uneducated, angry, and unsuccessful individual that really was just a waste of space on this planet. He had told his young daughter that people (women to be specific) who ate ice cream were fat, ugly, and unattractive. He had explained to her that nobody wanted to be them and that people (women) in pageants never ate ice cream so that they stay perfect and pretty. I don’t know about anyone else but that is a complete load of crap, and in the movie near the end he was prove wrong when little Olive asked Miss California if she ate ice cream and if so what was her favorite, Miss America responds by saying she love ice cream and her favorite is Rocky Road. This right here shows that the father Richard was seriously wrong in his thought process and that he did not grasp the fact that even though you lose at some things you win at others.

The fallacy that is present all throughout this movie is THE STRAWMAN FALLACY. Most of the time people in this movie present themselves a certain way when in fact they all are something completely different. The character Grandpa in this movie had portrayed himself as this funny, dirty, and sarcastic old man that was helping his granddaughter with her pageant routine. When in fact he may have been some of those things, yet he was also a constant heroin addict. As everyone was either occupied with other things he wold “use” and then go back and join the family. This happened continuously up until he was sleeping in the motel they were staying in and died during the night. No one knew he was still using since he had gotten kicked out of his nursing home for doing this particular thing. So when the family had to deal with his death they all were shocked and completely heartbroken due to his lose. If he had been more upfront about his drug use they would have taken more drastic measures and gotten him help. So this just goes to show how this movie may has tons of people displaying themselves in a certain light or way but that is not what they are nor what they truly believe nor want. It does not make them bad people it just simply makes them human. At the end of it all, they do end up being the family they did not want to be in the beginning.

 

Erin Brockovich

“Erin Brockovich” is a film that depicts the true story targeting the largest direct action lawsuit in US history. The case is fully investigated by Erin Brockovich, played by Julia Roberts, a single mother of three kids who leads the community of Hinkley to victory over Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

PG&E has a plant in the Hinkley area and without lining their ponds, groundwater contamination spread to the water supply of much of the community. As a result, many families were stricken with serious illnesses, miscarriages and more because the water supply became contaminated with hexavalent chromium, an extremely toxic chemical.

Erin Brockovich, an opinionated, outspoken woman who never ceases to speak her mind, had recently lost a case with her lawyer and in return, demanded a job from him to pay her bills. Upon getting hired by her lawyer, Ed Masry, played by Albert Finney, Brockovich begins investigating the reason why a file from a family in Hinkley had their real estate documentation combined with their medical bills. Her investigation eventually leads to the unethical and unlawful situation with PG&E and how this large corporation lied to the Hinkley community.

This film represents the real truth about the power of corporations and even other companies when lying or only speaking half the truth to maintain sustainability and make a profit.

A major ethical dilemma that poses as a prevalent issue in the film is the deceitful nature by PG&E. The corporation is a billion-dollar powerhouse that is fully aware of the level of toxicity contaminating the water. However, it takes every precaution to cover up its tracks and not have to face a legal issue such as the case Brockovich investigates.

Upon lying, the company tries to perceive itself as caring and supportive by informing the wrong information which they are fully aware of—chromium 3 is a good chemical they assure is in the water. However, hexavalent chromium 6 is the actual substance used and can cause a number of harmful side effects that can ultimately lead to death. To add to this, PG&E even pay for medical visits to those doctors who also only give a portion of the truth.

The citizens begin thinking they are not at risk whatsoever when in reality everything is a scam to keep the truth hidden.

The ethical issue here is clearly lying, whether it is a little white lie or something much larger. For the most part, society is aware that lying is the ‘wrong’ thing to do, yet many of us do it anyways. In some cases, the repercussions are much more severe than others.

Although lying can be detrimental on an individual level, what about when it involves a business—in this case a major corporation which in any case can be intimidating to question?

If a major corporation is lying, it is likely that some, if not all employees are aware of its unethical behavior, but to question that could possibly result in job loss and other unwanted complications. And who are these employees— just regular everyday people who are probably working to support a family and simply make a living. Why must they be bombarded with having to choose to be ethical in the workforce (particularly this issue) when it should be the company’s responsibility in the first place?

Another unethical issue presented in the film is portrayed in the beginning when Brockovich is hit by a doctor who sped running the red light as she crossed the intersection following a green light. Eventually as the case goes to trial, Brockovich is judged by her two divorces and three kids. The doctor is then given the benefit of the doubt as his lawyer persuades the jury that a single-struggling mother would most likely target someone who has money to assist with her financial hardships.

The doctor had to be fully aware of what exactly happened and that Brockovich was in fact telling the truth. However, he had to save his own self and chose to act unethically by having his lawyer prove something that he knew was false.

It is important and can even be inspiring to see that aside from going up against a well-established company, Brokovich and Masry decided to dive into what could be a nightmare. Masry was aware of the possibility that his small firm could delve into loads of paperwork and other issues that could ultimately lead him to bankruptcy. Masry weighed out much of the possibilities and realized that although this case would be an extremely complex situation, he wanted to do it—partly because of Brockovich, yet also because he wanted to help the Hinkley community. Masry acted ethically on his part to overlook what could affect him personally and do something that could potentially help the greater good.

On the other hand, Brockovich acted ethically by also devoting herself to her work and those in need. She consequently sacrificed time away from her kids and spent hours on end working tirelessly to establish a close-knit relationship with Hinkley. Although this was part of her job, she realized that she was dealing with people’s lives and this meant something. She decided to do everything in her power to help them and make PG&E succumb to the consequences of their irresponsibility.

One fallacy committed in the film can be the appeal to authority fallacy. In one scene, a young man who represents PG&E comes in response to the newly questionable information investigated by Masry and Brockovich. The representative comes to offer one of the Hinkley families two hundred fifty thousand dollars for their home- more than double the worth of the home.

Masry states that this sum of money may seem substantial but that will not nearly cover the costs and fees of medical bills the family will eventually deal with.

The man then states he is only authorized to offer that amount of money, but seems as though he is not too sure of himself; he is only going with what his employer told him without thinking for himself. This representative appealed to his bosses of PG&E but clearly did not think to question if this was right or even ethical. Although yes, he was representing on behalf of the company, he as an individual could have done more to not simply appeal to authority.

Of course this would be taking a chance with his own career, which Masry and Brockovich also did, it would by risky yet feasible.

Another fallacy committed would be evading the issue. Once PG&E were questioned about the chromium in the water supply, they could be seen as evading it by supporting their argument with the fact that they told Hinkley chromium 3 was in fact in the water. They lied, however, and consciously gave the wrong information by saying chromium was good for the people, when in reality, toxic chromium 6 is what ran through the water supply.

In this case, the situation seemed like it was being addressed when in reality, the truth that PG&E was fully conscious of was not being dealt with.

In addition to evading the issue, the fallacy of suppressed evidence corresponds. PG&E did suppress evidence to prove its point. Although they were not suppressing evidence of the opposing side, they did it to cover their argument up and reflected the issue of slighted evidence.

The Real Masry and Brockovich