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Through his novel Under Western Eyes, Joseph Conrad discuses his perception of reason.

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Introduction

Zach Lynch Reason: Variable to All That Surrounds us Reason is defined as the justification of one's actions or opinions. Whether it be rational or not; everyone has a justification for the things they do. Several characteristics build reason; including morals, values and rationality. Through his novel Under Western Eyes, Joseph Conrad discuses his perception of reason. This is demonstrated in the way Razumov reacts to disruption of structure. It is also viewed in the way Victor Haldin decides to follow his true beliefs. Additionally, it is portrayed in the way people take advantage of Razumov's vulnerability. Conrad develops an idea that reason plays the role of a dependant variable that is altered considering the current circumstances. From this we can draw the idea that ones reasoning is nothing more than a variable to one's environment. Throughout the novel, we learn about Razumov's values. We continuously see him forced to make decisions, many of them being concequences from previous decisions. The idea of reason is frequently brought up in relation to Razumov, he proves to be conscious to why he chooses to do the things he does. An example of this is when he is thinking to himself about his future and what he'd like to be. ...read more.

Middle

? You suppose that I am a terrorist, now ? a destructor of what is, but consider that the true destroyers are they who destroy the spirit of progress and truth, not the avengers who merely kill the bodies of the prosecutors of human dignity? (193). The idea of reason from belief is again seen in the acts of Victor Haldin when he states that he is prepared to die for what he believes in. ? They can kill my body, but they cannot exile my soul from this world. I tell you what ? I believe in this world so much that I cannot conceive eternity otherwise than as a very long life. That is perhaps the reason I am ready to die? (614). What Haldin displays is that he feels he has done the right thing, he has supported what he believes in. To believe something is the right thing is potentially the most powerful influence over reason. Haldin also mentions that the reason he is ready for death is that he knows his soul will live on through his action, and the actions that will come as a consequence to his. This is a powerful demonstration that one's morals and beliefs have a strong impact on one's reasoning. ...read more.

Conclusion

There have been enough ruined homes as it is? (184). Similar to General T --, Haldin picks him because he has no ties, however in this case it is so that he does not risk the suffering of multiple people. Haldin believes this decision is a rational one because it is for what one would call the greater good. He believes that in making this decision, his cause will benefit from it. This demonstrates that rationality does in fact impact reasoning, however it is rationality itself that can be defined differently among individuals. Throughout the story, Conrad develops the idea that reason is affected by multiple surrounding factors and is frequently altered by external as well as internal variables. Conrad discusses the idea of disruption of order and how it affects reasoning. This is seen in the way Razumov reacts to unwanted changes in his environment. As well, Conrad portrays the idea of morals and beliefs and how they affect reasoning. This is demonstrated in the way Haldin is willing to give up everything for a cause he believes in. Finally, the idea of rationality is discussed. We are exposed to two different types of rationality: one cynical, and one for the greater good. It is conclusive that ones reasoning falls as a variable to all their surrounds, their environment as a whole. ...read more.

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