Re: RARA-AVIS: Sidekicks

Date: 13 Nov 2001

Re George's comment below:

"One of the decisions Spenser makes is to allow others, including Hawk, to abide by their own codes without interference from him. [In one novel] Spenser makes a decision to allow a bad guy to live, and he accepts the consequences of that decision. Hawk, on the other hand, is unwilling to live with those consequences, and shoots the unarmed guy. This isn't Spenser avoiding a decision - he's made a decision. Hawk then makes another one."

Far from being an argument against my point, this incident illustrates it beautifully.

Spenser (and presumably Parker) decides that it's immoral for him to kill an unarmed man. Hawk decides to murder him. But Hawk (and, again, presumably Parker) decides that it's tactically unwise to let an enemy live.

Spenser stands by and lets the murder occur without interference. This isn't allowing Hawk to "live by his code." This is allowing a murder to occur, when he's already decided that this murder is unacceptable morally or ethically, and, further, when he has the means at hand to prevent it. By deciding not to prevent it he, in effect, becomes an accomplice to the very murder he's already decided is immoral.

This is not Spenser making a decision than allowing his friend to make a different one. This is Spenser PRETENDING to make a decision, than not following through and facing the consequences of his decision, one of which is that if he's morally obligated not to murder the bad guy, then it follows that he's morally obligated to prevent anyone else from murdering the bad guy.

He doesn't have the courage of his convictions, but because he lacks the courage of his convictions, and lets Hawk have his head, he won't be plagued by any actions the bad guy might've taken at a later time. Spenser thus appears moral, when he's not, and Hawk becomes the deus ex machina who eliminates an annoying loose end while Spenser appears to keep his hands clean.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Nov 2001 EST