Personal identity is a philosophical field that deals with questions about human nature. These questions ask who we were when all beings began and what would happen to us at the moment of our death. It questions the self, where the self is defined as some immaterial consciousness. The question of who we are is the most basic problem when dealing with the philosophical field of personal identity. This question is often superposed with the question of whether who we are today is the same self that was yesterday and who we will be the day after tomorrow. It thus consists of discussing features that define an individual as a human being or in colloquial terms “what makes people tick’. Personal identity is vital in the paper since it helps in examining whether Mr. Lee is the same person before and after the deterioration of his dementia.

There are several theories of personal identity that could shed light on whether Mr. Lee’s families should honor his two decisions. One of these theories is the memory theory. John Locke suggested that there exist a relationship between a person and his former self since both of his mental stages are stretched on the same spectrum of consciousness. He further proposed that the relationship between his two time-delimited selves lies on that fact that the latter self-has the memories of earlier self and therefore if the memory is intact they can be said to be the same person. In Mr. Lee’s situation, the memory theory would instruct us first to consider whether the physical characteristics of Mr. Lee in his current state are the same as they were before being discharged from the hospital. The second consideration would be to see whether his memory of his former self is still intact. Since Mr. Lee suffered dementia, his memory is, therefore, unreliable. Thus, the theory would have us disregarding any insight that Mr. Lee has over his former self. The change in decision to go back to a nursing home should, therefore, be honored since the family is dealing with a new Mr. Lee.

The second theory is the body theory. This theory states that as long as a person’s ‘self’ is still constrained in the same body as it was before then, he or she can be said to be the same person. Arguably, any decision individual should be consistent with his former self’s wish. In the case of Mr. Lee, the theory would instruct us to honor his first wish to stay at home since the decision of his current self is affected by the memory loss of his former self’s wish. Therefore, the family members who stood by the decision to honor Mr. Lee’s first wish were right. Both theories have pros and cons. The memory theory has the proof relevance to Mr. Lee’s situation since he has dementia. However, its con is that there is a difference in real memory and apparent memory. The body theory’s pro is that Mr. Lee is residing in the same body he was in after he was diagnosed with dementia. However, the body theory fails to consider the difference in the psychological state of Mr. Lee.

Personal identity is a vital philosophical problem as was seen in the case of Mr. Lee it can help us solve moral dilemmas. All personal identity theories seek to solve the question of the ‘essence’ of humans. They, however, differ in paying precedence to one region of an individual. The memory theory respects an individual’s memory while the body theory respects their body in establishing whether that person is the same as they were a moment ago. In my perspective, taking the memory theory approach would be the most appropriate way in handling Mr. Lee moral dilemma. Mainly because it is relevant to his memory situation.


Blake’s “The Tyger” and Bishop’s “The Fish” focuses on animal behavior and human understanding of it. Blake gets a feeling of awe and wonders when he thinks about the tiger as an animal by presenting it as the “Tyger”. The poet brings it out as more of the work of blacksmith and not God. He compares the compassion that one feels towards the outward appearance of a tiger to the aggressiveness of the tiger, and therefore, wonders how the tiger can have captivating eyes but is such a dangerous animal, and he ends up questioning the existence of God. The readers get to understand Blake’s understanding and thinking of the animals through his endless questions. He is in a dilemma and asks bugging issues such as who created the tiger and the existence of that particular person. He even compares the evil of a tiger to the innocence of the lamb and scrutinizes the possibility of the two different animals to have been made by the same creator.

Elizabeth Bishop uses her poem “The Fish,” to show the relationship between human and nature as they struggle to coexist. The friendly nature of the human beings towards animals is seen when she leaves the fish to go free, which happens only after she develops a relationship with the fish. Being a commercial fisher, the readers of the story do not expect her to let the fish free as she already sees the commercial use of various parts of the fish such as the white flesh, gills, bones, and jaws. In her wild imagination, she sees the fish for commercial benefit and nothing else. Elizabeth tries to see far beyond eyes of the fish, and this brings out the existence of the human beings to that of the fish. It also brings out the human dominance over the animals for their selfish gains, the killing of the fish, therefore, leading to the destruction of ecology. By setting the fish, free Elizabeth saves a life.

In Martel’s life of Pi, the audience encounters Mr. Patel’s zookeeping abilities and compare it to his parental skills through his son Pi. Mr. Patel uses the goat and tiger experience to teach his son on how dangerous a tiger can become so that he can prepare Pi for whatever danger he may face ahead. Even so, Pi does not use this knowledge in his encounter at the lifeboat. Instead, he uses his knowledge of animal sense, and their predictable behavior o helps him overcome the encounter he meets at the see.

Concisely, the text focuses on animal behavior and human understanding of it. Mr. Patel sees a different view from that of Pi. According to him, he feels that by enclosing a goat and a hungry tiger in the same cage, Pi will learn from the attack that the tiger gives the goat. Ultimately, he becomes more careful in his everyday endeavors. Conversely, Pi uses the knowledge he gains from reading and studying about animals daily to enable him to survive a tiger attack at sea.

Mr. Patel’s view about the tiger is similar to that of Blake’s since they both see it as a dangerous animal despite the fact that the beauty in its eyes amazes Blake. He compares its innocence to that of a lamb. Therefore, Elizabeth, Blake and Mr. Patel have an encounter with the animals to understand their behavior.