Linda and David Exercise

I just talked about this on Twitter, and figured I’d post it here as well. This is an experiment given to my Interpersonal Communication class at Rowan University. The purpose is to read the following scenario, and rank the people in the story from 1 to 5 (explained below).

I got some help from some friends on Twitter for the class assignment, but since several others expressed an interest, here is the scenario. If you like, you can post your comments on the exercise (along with your rankings) below (though I already got the content I need for the assignment, it still might be fun to see what people think).

Linda and David Exercise

            Linda and David love each other very much and wish to see each other.  But they have a problem.  A wide river separates them, David on one side and Linda on the other.

Steven owns the one and only boat that is capable of crossing the river.  Linda goes to him and tells of her plight.  She asks Steven if he will take her across the river in h is boat so she can see her love.  He says that he is willing, but only if she will sleep with him.  Initially, Linda says no, however, later seeing no alternative, she consents.

When Linda arrives at David’s house, she is wracked with guilt, so she tells him all that has happened.  He becomes enraged and throws Linda out of the house.

Linda happens to have a very good friend who also lives on that side of the river and goes to that friend for help, but the friend says, “I’m sorry but I don’t want to get involved,” and sends Linda on her way.

Finally, Linda tells an acquaintance, Michael, what has happened.  He gets angry and returns to David’s house with Linda.  Michael gives David a sound beating.

Having read the story, rank each of the participants from the most (5) to the least (1) despicable, using numbers 2, 3, and 4 for those in between.

Your ranking:

_____  Linda

_____  David

_____  The Friend

_____  Michael

_____  Steven

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5 thoughts on “Linda and David Exercise”

  1. My rankings – 1 – least despicable Linda – she saw no other choice to get what she wanted most. 2) David – he couldn’t forgive or understand, but he didn’t do anything wrong
    3) the friend – made a judgement call. totally neutral.
    4) michael – violence solves nothing
    5) steven gave Linda no other option. He’s a dick.

      1. I only gave her a 3 because I’d hoped she’d use her brain a little more before caving into Steven’s icky demands. Seriously, I’d have rather she stole his boat than made the choice she did; even if it was for love, it was still a choice. And what about David?! I gave him the 4, because he could have got up off his butt and tried to help remedy the situation from his side of the river. I sort of pictured him as a lazy do-nothing kind of jerk who supposedly loved Linda, but didn’t lift a finger to either cross the river from his side to hers, or try to help get her across to his side. Mr. Lazy McJudgypants gets the 4. 🙂

  2. In order from least to most:

    Linda–She really had no choice in the matter. Her hands were tied, so she did the only thing she could do.
    The friend–Didn’t want involved, and can’t blame them.
    Michael–While he escalated things rather quickly, I can understand why he got so pissed off. David was being a total dick about it all.
    David–I didn’t see him doing anything to get across the river to see his love, yet he has the GALL to get upset with her that she did something that degrading just to be with him. Asshole.
    Steven–The fact that he took advantage of Linda’s desperation in the first place makes him the Epitome of Douchebagginess.

    1. It’s interesting how some people put Linda very low on the list because they say she “did the only thing she could do.” While other people put her as a 4 or 5 because they say “she shouldn’t have cheated, she could have waited until another solution came available.” Of all the characters, Linda seems to generate some of the most disparate answers.

      Almost everyone thinks Steven is just a jackass though.

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