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An Ethical System of Deontology: Erin Brockovich (2000) Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Jun 15th, 2022

The movie, “Erin Brockovich”, is based on a real life story and stars Julia Roberts (known as Erin Brockovich) as the main character. Erin has been divorced twice and has three children. She experiences a streak of bad luck.

However, she finally manages to browbeat her lawyer: Ed Masry, who had seen her lose a lawsuit against the doctor who had hit her car in an accident, and he gives her a job at his law firm. She works as a filing clerk until one day she comes across a peculiar file with medical records. This marks the starting point of Erin’s heroic endeavor.

Erin Brockovich is shown as an epitome of the ethical system of deontology due to her vehement desire to get a job so that she could settle her accrued bills and take care of her children. This shows her commitment to her duties because even after she experienced that accident that drained her of her finances, she sought for a means to ensure that those who depended on her, and who she was indebted to would be sorted out.

Later, after she secured a job in Ed’s firm, she was still committed to her duty towards ensuring that the residents of Hinkley (desert town) received justice against a California power company: the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, which was involved in causing the high death rate in the town due to contaminating the people’s drinking water with chromium (Leong, 2000).

In addition, her pursuit of the case against the power company was governed by utilitarianism since her aim was to ensure that the health of residents at Hinkley town was free of harm.

Erin’s life is characterized by changed ecosystems for the two times that she had been married and divorced. Her changed ecosystem from being a married housewife to an unemployed single mother was associated with a shift from settled bills by the husband to accrued bills, which she had to settle all by herself.

She continued to encounter a series of misfortunes after the accident, which caused her finances to drain further due to the lawsuit, leaving her totally broke. At that point, she was at a climax of desperation. Her life however turned around when she was able to convince her attorney to hire her.

She could then cater for her bills and take care of her children. In addition, her children experienced change when Erin’s baby sitter left and Erin had to get a replacement (Scott, 2000). Erin’s life as a filing clerk took a massive turn when she began to handle the case against the power company that posed as a threat to the health of the residents at Hinkley.

After being a key player in the lawsuit against the power company, it was obvious that she would be heavily rewarded by the law firm where she acted as a non-legal staff. This would lead to a better and happier life for herself and her kids, marking a major positive turn in Erin’s ecosystem.

The movie is a spirit lifter as it shows the sheer determination of a woman, who wants the best for herself, her kids and the common man. Her life is a manifestation of a roller coaster that takes a dramatic turn owing to the fact that Erin had merely received basic education and had no professional qualification in as far as legal matters were concerned.

Nonetheless, she was involved in the fight against the multi-billion dollar power company where she and her colleagues won the largest settlement (of $333 million) that had ever been paid in a direct-action lawsuit in the US (Erin Brockovich, 2012).

References

Erin Brockovich. (2012). iloveindia.com. Retrieved from

Leong, A. (2000). Erin Brockovich Movie Review. Retrieved from

Scott, A. (2000, March 17). Erin Brockovich (2000): Film Review. The New York Times. Retrieved from

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IvyPanda. 2022. "An Ethical System of Deontology: Erin Brockovich (2000)." June 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/erin-brockovich/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'An Ethical System of Deontology: Erin Brockovich (2000)'. 15 June.

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