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Loaf Of Bread Essay

538 words - 3 pages

the moral dilemma the man must have been facing knowing that stealing is wrong, but also knowing that his family would starve if they were not given food.  I am reminded of my all-time favorite book “Les Miserables”, where Jean Valjean steals a loaf of bread for the sake of his starving family. He knows that stealing is wrong, however, his family will surely die if he does not get them food. He is a hard worker, but still is very poor and the only way to get food is to steal it. He faced an inner conflict regarding the decision to break the baker’s window and steal a loaf of bread but accepted the consequences of doing so because he knew that his sister and her children would die without food and as a result, served many years in ...view middle of the document...

This can by a terrible judgment by the community and society altogether.  The family member who stole the loaf of bread may have been a well-educated person, upstanding in the community, but was dealing with the shame of losing their job (and their pride) and made a choice to help his family physically survive by stealing a loaf of bread. The inner conflict must have been terrible knowing that this was the only means of survival for his family. Other’s may say that begging for money and then buying the bread would have been better, while some may not agree with that either. There really isn’t a right answer here.
I feel the dilemma for this particular scenario comes in when dealing with this man and his punishment. It is against the law to steal, no matter the reasoning, it is wrong.  We are taught this from the time we are very little. No matter the reasoning, due to being poor, mental illness or simply because you are a kleptomaniac, stealing is wrong.  However, in a situation such as this, where the man did it for his family, many in the community and society may not want the judge or lawmakers to lean towards leniency due to the nature of the crime and potential for reoffending. However, I feel that yes, this person should receive a punishment of some nature; however, it should not be treated as though he is a hardened criminal. Possibly community service or simply repay the grocery store where the bread was stolen with a heartfelt apology.  The shame that this man must have felt is quite different from the career criminal who is stealing from local businesses on a frequent occasion and I believe that should be taken into consideration.

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