The Path of Dishonesty

April 13, 2009
By Sonja SILVER, Tucson, Arizona
Sonja SILVER, Tucson, Arizona
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

In Prince and the Pauper written by Mark Twain, some of the characters find dishonesty much easier than honesty. Their view of life consists of getting the most out of it, without working hard. They thrive off the honest people, who work hard for the very little that they possess. While dishonesty may be the easy way to go through life, it ultimately ends up in destruction, as Solomon states, the Lord hates, “A mind that thinks up wicked plans, feet that hurry off to do evil,” (Proverbs 6:18). The way apart from God eventually leads to death and destruction. Honesty, although the harder way to go through life, will in due course lead to eternal rewards, which are greater than any earthly ones.

Finding his brother, Miles, Hugh tried to protect the stolen inheritance and money he had formally acquired by denying the true relationship between them. “Hugh shook his head sadly and said, ‘I pray heaven it may prove so, and that other eyes may find the resemblances that are hid from mine.’” (227). If Hugh acknowledged that Miles was truly the elder, he stood to lose his entire estate, fortune, and the position that he held in his community. Hugh tried to keep his position by lying to Miles and by means of either threatening or bribing the people who would recognize him. Even though Hugh thought that, he had gotten away with his deception, reality proved otherwise. The Bible firmly declares that Yeshua will, “Bring to light the dark secrets and expose the hidden purposes of people's minds” (1 Corinthians 4:5b).

Hugo, the thief, who stole the pig and made sure Edward was blamed, portrayed dishonesty in this situation on two occasions. He first stole the pig and then let the blame fall on innocent Edward, so that Edward would find himself in trouble with the town’s law enforcement. “Hugo crept behind the woman, snatched the package, and came running back, wrapping it in an old piece of blanket…” (207). After Hugo stole the pig, he leaves the stolen item in Edwards’s possession. “Hugo thrust the bundle into the king’s hands without halting…” (207). Hugo’s master plan was that if Edward didn’t follow his directions, to lead the angry crowd astray, Edward would pay the ultimate price for theft of the pig, hanging.

Although a minor character, the constable portrays dishonesty. After the court case concerning the alleged stolen pig, he demands that the peasant sell the pig to him for a small fraction of the actual cost. “I will buy it of thee; here is the eightpence” (213). Insulted the peasant woman, refuses declaring the pig’s worth, an exact 3 shillings and 8 pence. The constable, knowing he has her cornered, reminds her of her statement earlier in the courtroom that the pig was worth only 8 pence. Forced the woman sells the pig to the constable for the amount he demanded, for which, he knows that he has gotten a bargain. Succeeding in stealing the peasant woman’s pig, the constable, demonstrates how dishonest people live off honest citizens.

Although some of the characters portray dishonesty in Prince and the Pauper, there exist honest citizens who try to combat the dishonest characters. They struggle going up stream and going against the flow. Being different does not equate to effortlessness. It doesn’t mean total acceptance from others, but the path of honesty leads to eternal happiness and peace. Knowing that the right thing has been done, and knowing that even though others took the easy path, is not always painless. The easy path leads to destruction while the path of honesty leads to God. That narrow and rocky path, leads to a eternal heavenly home with God the Father.

Bratcher, Robert G. Good News Bible: The Bible in Today’s English Version. New York City: American Bible Society, 1976.

Twain, Mark. The Prince and the Pauper. Aladdin Classics. New York City: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 1882.

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This article has 5 comments.

job14:1 said...
on Apr. 16 2009 at 12:47 am
I love it, keep up the good work...:)

CaptainKirk said...
on Apr. 16 2009 at 12:18 am
Great Job Sonja, just one thing, you said the same thing in paragraph 3 several different ways all meaning the same thing really but overall VERY good. 4 Star!

mikahoone said...
on Apr. 15 2009 at 4:40 pm
wow!!Great Sonja I love it.Keep it up. I ratthis a 5 star.

marmaduke said...
on Apr. 15 2009 at 4:37 pm
This is a well written review. Great work!

Mia13 said...
on Apr. 15 2009 at 4:36 pm
Wow!! Lots of great stuff here! Thanks so much for sharing!

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