Comparison Paper

Episode #14, “Take This Sabbath Day,” from season 1 of The West Wing, first aired on February 9, 2000. In that episode, President Jed Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen, must decide whether or not to commute a murderer’s death sentence. He has less than 48 hours to make his decision. The episode features an array of powerfully presented arguments – economic, ethical, political, religious, and legal.

Pushed and pulled by those considerations, President Bartlet, a Catholic, eventually calls his wise old friend, a priest, played by Karl Malden, for guidance. The priest tells Bartlet, as president, Bartlet reminds him of a man who lived by a river. The man hears a radio report warning the river was going to flood, possibly trapping the man in his own home. The story is, of course, meant as an analogy to Bartlet’s situation.

Watch the video and evaluate that comparison (Bartlet as president compared to the man who lived by a river) using the standards of familiarity, simplicity, comprehensiveness, productivity, and testability..

PowerPoint Attached

Find this video on Youtube:

Take This Sabbath Day, Karl Malden,YouTube, RHajand, 2011

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