Susan Tom Essay

1467 words - 6 pages

Susan Tom, a Moral Saint
Susan Tom is a single mother of eleven whose full time job is staying at home and taking care of her children; she is also a moral saint. In her article “Moral Saints”, Susan Wolfe defines a moral saint as: “a person whose every action is as morally good as possible, a person, that is, as morally worthy as can be” (Wolfe, 419); she also states that moral saints are humorless, boring, dull, obsessive, and unattractive as role models. I believe that Susan Tom is a moral saint who does not lack humor, is not boring, dull, or obsessive, and is a great role model to parents and people in general.
Susan Tom is a sixty-three year old woman who has two biological ...view middle of the document...

Faith gets a kick out of it and giggles and laughs throughout the hair cut. There is another scene in which Tom dresses up one of her daughters that has no legs as a girl who is being sawed in half for a magic show; everyone enjoys the act. It seems to me that Susan Tom does not lack a sense of humor, nor is she boring, dull, or obsessive in anyway. Wolfe states: “A moral saint will have to be very, very nice. It is important that she not be offensive. The worry is that, as a result, she will have to be dull-witted or humorless or bland. This worry is confirmed when we consider what sorts of characters typically form our ideals” (Wolfe, 422). Wolfe is saying that the humor that many people enjoy is normally not a moral sense of a humor, and if a moral saint has a sense of humor it will most likely be immoral in order to be enjoyed by others. I do not think that by pretending to cut a bald girls hair or by sawing a legless girls legs off Susan Tom loses her moral sainthood. Wolfe also states: “One saint may be more or less jovial, more or less garrulous, more or less athletic than another. But, above all, a moral saint must have and cultivate those qualities which are apt to allow him to treat others as justly and kindly as possible” (Wolfe, 421). If a moral saint is allowed to be more or less jovial, garrulous, and athletic than other saints, I see no reason that the moral saint can’t be more or less funny than other saints as long as the saint treats others as justly and kindly as possible.
Susan Tom is not the humorless, dull, and boring person Susan Wolfe says she has to be in order to be a moral saint; she seems to steer clear of those qualities yet still attain sainthood. But Wolfe says that those qualities aren’t the sole reason that moral saints are unattractive:”Perhaps they are unattractive because they make us feel uncomfortable-they highlight our own weaknesses, vices, and flaws” (Wolfe, 426). Wolfe is saying that moral saints are unattractive because when normal people are around them, they make the normal people look bad; I think this is a horrible reason to call a moral saint unattractive. In the documentary, Susan Tom is not shown hanging out with friends or going over to other people’s houses; this is because she is too busy helping with the children. She does not have time to socialize and I think that any true moral saint would not have time for friends. I can see that Wolfe is saying that no one wants to be compared to a goody good, but at the same time that doesn’t mean that no one should try to go above and beyond in terms of moral goodness. It seems that those who feel uncomfortable around moral saints have a problem dealing with their own shortcomings and find it easy to criticize everyone but themselves. This unattractiveness caused by making others feel uncomfortable is hardly the problem of the moral saint, but the problem of...

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