Contextual Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By CourtTownson
Words 1392
Pages 6
Contextual Analysis
The concept of Utilitarianism by Mill is that an action is right if it tends to promote happiness and wrong if it tends to produce the reverse of happiness- not just the happiness of the performer of the action but also that of everyone affected by it. The Rainbow Fish relates to a core notion of basic utilitarianism, the happiness of the group vs. the happiness of the individual. The basic of utilitarian tenets of "The greatest good for the greatest number" and "Maximizing happiness across the population" are easily apparent when reflecting on Rainbow Fish's decision and the consequences (Mill). In the Rainbow Fish's case, theoretically, he was going to be a little less happy if he lost his scales, but as a result his friends will become much happier. In practice, though, giving everyone a scale actually made him even happier. Mill’s theory of maximizing happiness across the population in Utilitarianism explains why Rainbow Fish becomes happier when he shares his scales with the other fish and his perspective of selfishness explains why Rainbow Fish is unhappy at first.
In the book, The Rainbow Fish, there is one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean. Unlike all of the other fish, Rainbow Fish had shimmering, colorful scales. He is asked to share one of his shining scales with a little blue fish, and to which he refuses. All the other fish in the sea leave him alone, and he wondered why. He goes to the wise octopus for advice, and she tells him to give away his scales. Rainbow Fish reluctantly does so, except for one. In the end, he is less beautiful then he was before, but he has new friends and is now the happiest fish in the sea. Utilitarianism, by John Stuart Mill, is an essay written to provide support for the value of utilitarianism as a moral theory, and to respond to misconceptions about it. Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory…...

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