December 2, 2012
What Motivates Action? Need vs. Want
Up the Yangtze made me think about what motivates action. Cindy had no choice but to work on the ship because her family did not have a solid form of income. Cindy was not happy with this and it was tough for her to adjust, but her need to support her family trumped all of that. She fought through it and learned how to Westernize herself so that she could better perform her duties. On the other hand, Jerry's family had enough money to send him to school if he wanted to go, so it was almost like he was working on the ship just to keep busy or because that was what he wanted to do. He did not put forth enough effort to mesh with the Americans or hide his arrogance and when he was fired because of that, he did not seem to care very much. If Jerry's family was in the same situation as Cindy's, do you think he would have worked harder to please the tourists out of pure need, or would his innate arrogance overridden his efforts and gotten him fired anyway?