Everything you need to understand or teach Ethics by Linda Pastan.
"Ethics" begins with the memory of an ethics class that Pastan herself attended. The focus of this memory is a question the teacher posed, and the rest of the poem is given to unfolding its answer. The poem's language is specific. The question was asked, not simply every "year," but "every fall," and the image of autumn also unfolds in important ways as the poem proceeds.
In these lines, the question is put forth as the poet recalls it, in concrete, straightforward language that gives the past a sense of immediacy. It is a typical "values clarification" question, designed to stir a conversation about the relative value of life and art: which is of greater worth in "saving," a famous painting or an old woman? The choice is obviously difficult and contains the seeds of several large ethical issues. However, the students are not engaged. So, instead of providing... View more of the Ethics Summary