Mr. Baumer's Bargain

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The story “Bargain” takes place in the American Frontier in the late nineteenth century in a town called Moon Dance, Montana. This was an exciting time in America. People from all over the world were making their way to the United States to make their fortune in The Wild West. A mixture of cultures, though, didn’t always get along peacefully and without an established police force in many townspeople often took justice into their own hands. Mr. Baumer's is one of the story's main characters, a struggling store owner in this small western town. Al is Mr. Baumer's young sales clerk. Mr. Slade is the story's other main character, a violent bully. Moral decisions are usually dependent upon the circumstances in which the moral decision is made.…show more content…
Baumer did not seek the support of the law or the towns citizens to stand up against the abuse from Mr. Slade, as he would have today with easier access to modern law enforcement and the courts system. In Mr. Baumer's time, an individual was expected to solve personal problems independently, and not involve the law and others in trivial matters. Often, in the past, an intelligent man was not as socially valued as a strong man, and seeking out help from others made a person look weak in the eye's of fellow townspeople. In today's society Mr. Baumer would have been able to file a lawsuit and take civil action against Mr. Slade in small claims court, and reached a non-violent resolution to the disagreement without appearing weak or losing social status in the…show more content…
Laws are designed to regulate activities that can be publicly observed. Morals are guidelines that are concerned with or relating to human behavior, especially the distinction between good and bad or right and wrong behavior. Morals are designed to regulate behavior that often involve acts that are not illegal but simply unethical and can include acts that are private and difficult to observe. This difference between the two makes law enforcement easy, but breaches of moral principles are harder to enforce socially. Enforcement, therefore, is almost totally left to the perpetrator, in this case, Mr. Slade. Others may work on Mr. Slades's emotions to encourage guilt or shame to modify his behavior, but they have no actual control over the Mr. Slades's conduct. Ultimately, Mr. Slade is responsible for his actions towards Mr. Baumer, and not the

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