Moral Struggles in Escape from Spiderhead

In “Escape from Spiderhead,” Jeff, the protagonist, faces internal struggles throughout the story. They ultimately drive him to commit suicide at the end. On page 67, the text states, “‘I don’t want you to Darkenfloxx Heather. . . I don’t want you to Darkenfloxx anybody. . . ” Abnesti asks Jeff to choose Darkenfloxx for either Heather or Rachel. Jeff isn’t in love with either of them but he respects them as humans and doesn’t want them to suffer. This is an example of mutual recognition, something that Abnesti doesn’t understand. Further on in the story, the text states, “Heather. . . dissasemble the chair while continuing to drive her head into the wall. . .” She is given the Darkenfloxx and feels the full affects of the lethal drug. As a result, Jeff is crying because he doesn’t want to see her suffer. And on page 80, Jeff lays his struggles to rest when he commits suicide. Internally, he says, “No, I thought, no thanks, I’ve had enough.” This is very tragic yet such an important moment. The whole story, Jeff had to do what Abnesti told him and this is his final act to go against the system. We don’t know if Rachel will be given Darkenfloxx but Jeff is freed from the oppression.

3 thoughts on “Moral Struggles in Escape from Spiderhead

  1. LIVIA N.

    Throughout the story there is a tendency to make sacrifices for the ‘greater good’. This alternative tends to be bad so perhaps that decision is the moral struggle in the story. Examples of this include: scientists treating patients as such in the name of science, patients going allowing with the tests in order to survive, Jeff killing himself rather than being a patient at Spiderhead, etc.


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