“Does man understand the virtue of honesty?”

 I had chosen this topic as my final oral  topic last year and I felt like many statements I had made were and are still valid today. The oral itself had to be linked with two of the coursework books we had read throughout the year. Those books being “Othello” by William Shakespeare and “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is what I had said and felt regarding the topic …

                 “I am not what I am” – Iago ( “Othello” ; 1/1/65) Life today is based on falsehood: the bigger the liar, the larger the rewards!

Is this the truth, or is this statement itself a lie? Does man understand the virtue of honesty?

I know what it’s like to try and be someone I’m not, to want to simply fit in and belong,

To smile and say I’m fine when clearly I’m not, but I’ve realized that, that wasn’t the way to happiness. People cannot be something they’re not meant to be. People cannot hide behind lies, even if it’s to protect themselves.

In society it seems as if the bigger the lie the more rewards one reaps and whether or not this statement is the truth or a blatant lie or can a middle ground of sorts be found somewhere between it all?

Does man truly understand the virtue of honesty? Or is man to well aware of the consequences honesty can have on another.

How far is too far with the truth? Do you tell your best friend her boyfriends cheating on her? Or do you leave it and let her find out from someone else? Do you tell people how you really feel? Or do you smile and say everything is okay while inside your dying? Do you hide behind this quiet demeanour at school or at home but inside you’re a wild party child and you love it?

In life how often are we honest?

People demand the truth; they know they will be hurt by.

People lie to appease others, to fit in, to be part of the “it” crowd.

People lie to avoid being targeted or ridiculed by others, just for a sense of belonging.

How often do you lie?

Just little things at first,

“I left my homework at home Ma’am but I have done it”

“I was with friends last night”

“I had a meeting late last night honey”

and the worst lie of all

“I love you”

Sometimes people lie to protect themselves, whether it is against something from the past or against others. It becomes a sort of self preservation. A means to survive.

For example.

Gatsby lied about how he acquired his wealth, but he did it so he wouldn’t lose the woman he idolised, and when she found out, all he was left with was this distorted image in his mind, of a “happily ever after” for Daisy and himself.

But there are more often than not cases where people lie in order to harm others, the prime example of such an act would be one of Iago, a character from “Othello” who passed himself off as a paragon of virtue and goodness, one who would not harm those he “cared” about or respected nor spread lies about those he served. The harsh reality however was that Iago was a mastermind at manipulation, and lying was his personal form of self preservation to protect himself as he brought about the downfall of those he “respected”

In this instance lying was used to harm and hurt others, where is the virtue in that?  Can any really say they are truly understand the virtue of honesty? In every aspect of the word? And not only understand it but lead upholding such a virtue? Can anyone really do that?  Not lie at all?

I believe that there is a middle ground to be found since lying to much can harm not only others but yourself as well and not lying at all also has similar consequences depending on the situation.

Most people may not understand the virtue of honesty, but there are those that are honest. There are those however that may not be honest but they are virtuous in other ways


People lie to protect others but people also lie to destroy others.

Find the middle ground between it all. I cannot say “Don’t ever lie” ; that would be hypocritical of me  because I LIE. Just like almost everyone on this planet. Finding someone who has never lied in his or her entire life would honestly be a revelation.

And I guess, looking back at this oral topic,  I still feel the same way.


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