“All the King’s Horses”
by Kurt Vonnegut
A. Several times Pi Ying says the game of chess they are about to play is
“no different philosophically” than what happens in battle. Is he right
or wrong? Explain.
B. Colonel Kelly makes a moral decision to sacrifice the life of his son
Jerry (a knight on the chess board) in a move to win the game, thereby
saving the remaining “pieces” left on the chess board.
Place yourself in Kelly’s position with one of your family members as
a piece on the chess board. What is the moral decision you make?
(NOTE: As a reader, you learn that Jerry’s life is spared by Major
Barzov. Ignore this information. Base your decision on the game and
events as they exist at the time Colonel Kelly makes his decision.