Study Guide

The Kill Order Morality and Ethics

By James Dashner

Morality and Ethics

Why would someone do this to others after all the hell that happened to the world? Weren't things bad enough? (11.25)

The sun-flares were pretty terrible, but they were a natural disaster; there are no moral qualms when dealing with natural disasters. But the Flare: that's man-made. So it's unfathomable to think about how someone could justify unleashing it.

It all came out sounding a little cold. Harsh. But Mark couldn't disagree with him. (13.20)

Coldness and harshness is something Mark and his pals have to live with; though Alec can seem a little harsh at times, he appears to be the only one who actually understands their situation. Morality isn't dead to him, but he knows that morality is multifaceted.

He feels a twinge of guilt that on some deep level, he's thankful for whatever tragedy has occurred, because they forced them together. (14.16)

Come on people, we've all been here—well, maybe not as dark as this, but we know the feeling. People come together when they're terrified. It's most fun at Halloween, but it can happen in fairly horrible situations as well.

"I did him a mercy and hopefully bought us another day or two." (17.20)

Alec is talking about killing the Toad. Though it might seem unethical, we need to consider the context of the situation. Not only is Alec ending the Toad's suffering, but he's also protecting his friends.

"Crazy buggers is right—I was hoping they'd all die in the fire." Mark said it before realizing how terrible it sounded. (27.30)

Hey, thoughts like this aren't actually terrible. Mark has a super sensitive conscience, but what he needs to realize is that the people he wanted to die probably want to die (at least somewhere inside), too.

"Humanity and charity, my friends? Those days are long gone." (37.2)

You know, this statement is pretty dead-on. The days of humanity and charity in the world they live in are gone due to the constant devastation.

"They said it was to save what little resources we have, to be able to feed those people they deemed worthy to live." (37.4)

Worthy to live and people should never really be in the same sentence, unless it's "all people are worthy to live." The problem with the PFC is that they only chose certain people to survive, but what makes one human's life more important than another's? Now that, friends, is a classic ethics question.

As if he was seeing for the first time, he realized what he was doing. Torturing another human being… Mark felt a rush of horror at himself. (42.19)

Remember that horrible scene where Mark tortures the guy? Yeah, that was pretty immoral. But Mark was being affected by the Flare; so again, is Mark to blame?

"For all I know they fly around for the rest of eternity screaming for someone to put them back together again. Or maybe it's just instant and over. No way to tell. Maybe it's not such a bad way to die." (49.12)

Another huge question: do you think killing Lana with the Transvice was unethical? Unfortunately for Alec, he might not have had a choice, but no one knows what happens to people when they're shot by a Transvice. For all they know, the victim could float around for eternity.

"Your value of human life brings tears to my eyes," he muttered. (49.29)

Mark mutters this to Alec, but he's not being completely serious. Alec might seem like an immoral vet, but he just knows what he's doing. Post-apocalyptic situations call for drastic measures.

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