.. see it published, as a blue print of a way of life that was paying dividends in America in the first half of the twentieth century(276). Sammy Glick is a victim of cultural conditions(xvii) and poor living standards. I think it is the Western civilization that created the Sammy Glicks. All the numerous opportunities for advancement and personal fulfillment make people forget what their life is really about.
It is all image that counts. Other people judge how successful one is, by all the dead possessions one has. People waste their lives sitting behind heavy wooden desks and watch cheap, crappy movies from Hollywood, but forget about the simple pleasures in life. I would not imagine life without going to the mountain, feeling the breeze hit my forehead, and smelling the pleasant aroma of flowers and pines. The Sammy-drive is still to be found everywhere in America, in every field of endeavor and among every racial group. It will survive as long as money and prestige and power are ends in themselves, running wild, unharnessed from usefulness (xiv).
The Moral Compass serves as a moral education. The different chapters and the stories they contain teach young people of hard work, perseverance, courage, compassion, responsibility, discipline, and many other virtues that a person should have, when he leaves his home-place in the search for self-fulfillment. Most of the stories included in the book constitute a journey. Each story is a moral compass that guides humans through their lives. The book can also be used to build ones character. Young children are susceptible to these teachings. Those stories create a model that children follow until they grow up. The first chapter teaches that home is the most beloved place. A well built family, which is based on mutual respect and understanding between the spouses, enables the creative atmosphere that children need.
Some stories like What Bradley Owed and The Boy Who Kissed His Mother reveal the altruistic love between a son and his mother. I heard a footstep behind me, And the sound of a merry laugh, And I knew the heart it came from Would be like a comforting staff In the time and the hour of trouble, Hopeful and brave and strong; One of the hearts to lean on When we think that things go wrong. (The Moral Compass 72) Mother is always the one who takes care of her child. She is the one that has given life to him and he is part of her. Sometimes I have evidenced my own contempt towards my mothers reproaches, but in the end I realize that everything she does, she does it for me. I love my mother, because she has always been the one help me and to give solace in my saddest and loneliest moments.
I owe my mother most of my accomplishments, because she has been the one to encourage me and help me through the difficulties of life. And after that, he helped his mother for love(22). The following chapters in the book relate greediness and selfishness. The Miser, The Dog in the Manger, The Mouse Tower, and The Man Who Loved Money More Than Life are all witty stories about peoples affection with money. Bury a stone in the hole and fancy it is the gold.
It will serve you just as well, for when the gold was there you made use of it(176). Most of them try to teach the same lesson that Budd Schulberg tries to convey in What Makes Sammy Run. The lost pleasure of life, the constant drive for money deprives humans of their feelings. He raised taxes on the people over and over again. He built a tall tower of stone on an island in the river Rhine and would let no boat pass by without stopping and paying a toll in silver or gold(424).
It is hard for ordinary people to get their hands out of the money, once they have it. Often those die in loneliness, with no friends, and nobody who cares about them. It is funny how most of the people say, Having lots of money is a guarantee for better life. I dont believe in it, because many rich people have problems with their friends. The world is full of people with broken relationships and broken hearts.
And this, in my opinion, is only because they chose money and popularity instead of what is dearest to them love. Other stories teach readers of loyalty, confidence in ones own strength, and honesty. A Truth Speaker teaches people to defend their principles even with the cost of their lives. He knew that by expressing his view honestly he would incur certain punishment(324). The honest farmer is another story that talks about a mans respect and sacrifice for his neighbors.
The first field of barley was better than this one. That is true, sir, answered the honest old man, but it was not mine(262). It is integrity that helps people survive through the hard times of life. Both What Makes Sammy Run and The Moral Compass are great books that will probably be read by many generations. Budd Schulberg tells readers what they must not turn into.
Sammy, although admired by some, is an example of money-machine. No feelings, no emotions whatsoever. Only money. The Moral Compass, on the other hand, with its hundreds of beautifully narrated stories tells humans what qualities they should acquire through their journey in life. I, personally, cannot completely identify myself with any of these books.
I like Sammys ambition, but only to a certain extent. I need the ambition that will help me use my hidden qualities. In the pursuit of my goals, I will stick close to my friends. I will respect every word and every meaning that The Moral Compass tries to convey. Although these stories may seem nave and stupid to many people, they certainly have power.
It is we, our modern society that has made us cynical and defensive against the calls of The Moral Compass. It is, perhaps, our fault that we are corrupt and unable to understand these stories. Each of us has to look within himself, because most of the times guilt lies in ourselves.