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Justice quiz

Be judge and jury in this short story about love and murder.

A married couple live in a house on one side of a river. The wife has a lover who lives on the other side. The only way to get across the river is to walk across the bridge or to pay the boatman.

Justice quiz

The husband has to go on an overnight business trip to a faraway town. The wife pleads with him to take her with him. She knows if that he doesn't she will be unfaithful to him. The husband absolutely refuses to take her because she will only be in the way of his important business. So the husband goes alone.

That night, the wife goes over the bridge and stays with her lover. Dawn is almost up when the wife leaves because she must be back home before her husband returns. She starts walking across the bridge but sees an assassin waiting for her on the other side. She knows if she tries to cross, he will murder her. In terror, she runs up the side of the river and asks the boatman to take her across the river, but he wants too much money. She doesn't have enough, so he refuses to take her.

The wife runs back to the lover's house and explains her predicament and asks him to pay the boatman. The lover refuses, telling her it's her own fault for getting into this situation. As dawn comes up the wife decides to dash across the bridge. She comes face to face with the assassin and he kills her.

A married couple live in a house on one side of a river. The wife has a lover who lives on the other side. The only way to get across the river is to walk across the bridge or to pay the boatman.

The five characters in the story are listed below in alphabetical order. List the names in the order in which you think they were most responsible for the wife's death.

  • Assassin
  • Boatman
  • Husband
  • Lover
  • Wife


Each of the characters is a symbol and represents a different quality.

  • Lover = Sex
  • Wife = Fun (could also mean contentment)
  • Assassin = Money
  • Boatman = Magic (could also mean luck)
  • Husband = Love

Your list reveals the order in which these five qualities interest you, and how important they are in your life. If you thought that the wife was most responsible, then fun is the most important thing in your life. Since you are assigning reponsibility, you are essentially abandoning the quality associated with each character. Therefore, if you have assigned the wife to the number one spot, you have betrayed fun more than any of the other qualities.

How accurate were your results? Join in the discussion below.


07-05-2017, 20:00

+3 -0  

1 assassin - committed the murder
2 wife - not because of her cheating, but because she put hiding her cheating above her own safety. She could have waited until morning.
3 lover - knew the problem yet did not intervene
4 boatman - knew the problem yet did not intervene. Had less reason too than lover
5 husband - can not reasonable be expected to know he was putting his wifes life in danger


09-03-2017, 00:05

+4 -1  

“Responsibility” is a funny word……..the meaning (as is true for many words) changes depending on how it is used. If a roomful of adults is asked “who is responsible for this kid who just used a crayon on the walls”, the asker wants to identify the parent or guardian who should have been watching or should have done a better job of teaching so that no damage is done. The parent didn’t cause the coloring, but his action (or lack of action) is one element in the chain. The kid did the coloring, but is he “responsible” or did he “cause” it, since he didn’t create either the crayon or the room, nor did he invent the use of crayons? We must weigh and judge.
Me, I agreed with Whitney Rose and Broken wings.
Assassin-regardless of who paid or why, without him killing, the wife still lives
Wife-she is her own worst enemy...knows she will stray, knows she is wrong, does it anyway. She COULD have stayed with her lover and lived.
Lover- knows they are "in the wrong", but doesn't help her when she explains the situation with the assassin. He says (rightly) they she got herself into this mess.
Husband-didn't think enough about his wife to have her along, but we don't know if he was even aware that she was "straying", and we assume he didn't want her dead. Since she had a lover, we have to wonder about the strength of the husband's regard
Boatman-had no idea that crime was afoot, and merely has a fixed price for his service. Did she explain the situation? If she did, and the boatman remained unmoved, perhaps he should be bumped above the husband, but as many point out, he is merely doing his job, non-violently.


28-02-2017, 23:44

+3 -2  

all i know is that over all,i think it was the lovers fault,he new she was gonna die :(


28-02-2017, 23:24

+3 -3  



28-02-2017, 16:14

+2 -3  

i think this has me all wrong


28-02-2017, 14:44

+5 -6  

husband- should have kept her satisfied so she wouldnt have had an affair
wife- shouldnt have crossed the bridge to her death; she had a choice


28-02-2017, 14:19

+5 -2  

Not accurate at all!


28-02-2017, 13:45

+3 -2  

Wife (why is she being unfaithful in the first plave?), lover, husband, assassin, boatman


28-02-2017, 13:14

+2 -1  

wife - fun
husband - love
lover - sex
boatman - luck
assassin - money
humm its about right lol


28-02-2017, 13:14

+3 -1  

Lover - didn't help her by paying boatman
Assasin - committed the crime
Boatmen - should have taken her across anyway
Husband - didn't take her on the trip


28-02-2017, 13:09

+1 -2  

Most people don't like this quiz because it doesn't give them the results they expected. I find it to be very accurate, though: you judge most harshly the person who is most like yourself. But it's unconscious.


28-02-2017, 13:04

+3 -2  



28-02-2017, 12:54

+1 -2  

Completely backwards

Whitney Rose

28-02-2017, 12:52

+6 -2  

Assassin-he killed her, duh
Wife-she chose to have an affair
Lover-he refused to help her even though he knew she was going to be killed
Husband-he had no idea she was having an affair, its not his fault he didn't take her
Boatman-he was only doing his job, he had no idea there was an assassin


28-02-2017, 12:12

+2 -3  

husband, lover, wife, assassin, and boatman


27-02-2017, 11:21

+2 -3  



27-02-2017, 11:08

+2 -1  

so true...


27-02-2017, 10:18

+5 -5  

wife - it's your fault, stop cheating
assassin - don't kill people
lover - just let her stay
boatman - he needs to get paid somehow so not really guilty
husband - not his fault she has no self control
(the results are extremely inaccurate though)


27-02-2017, 10:18

+3 -4  

Assassin:he killed her
Husband:I felt like he set her up,knowing she was having an affair,maybe im paranoid
Wife:SHE had the affair
Lover:not really his fault,but he should have helped her
Boatman:not his fault.he has a business to run
Money, love, fun, sex and magic.I'm a realist.hahahaha

Broken Wings

27-02-2017, 10:02

+4 -1  

Assassin - He is the one who killed her, therefore, being the most responsible for her death.
Wife - She made her own decisions.
Lover - He could have easily prevented her death by paying for her.
Husband - Was it really so hard to take your nagging wife?
Boatman - He's doing his job.


26-02-2017, 21:29

+4 -3  

Husband-He left her alone so she wouldn't be in the way!
Lover-He didn't care and refused her her only chance to live
Boatman-He was greedy instead of doing a poor woman a favor
Assasin-He killed her but he was just doing his job
Wife-She didn't want to be in that spot in the first place


26-02-2017, 21:23

+3 -2  

It's obviously the assassin's fault because he commited the murder; however, I am not fully convinced that the husband, knowing the wife was unfaithful, didn't set her up!
Therefore, assassin, husband, wife, lover and boatman!


26-02-2017, 21:09

+3 -2  



26-02-2017, 20:43

+1 -3  

Husband-wouldn't take her along although she begged
Wife-cheated and didn't bring money with her
Lover-didn't actually care about anything except sex and wouldn't help her
Assassin-actually killed her for no apparent reason
Boatman-was just doing his job


26-02-2017, 20:29

+4 -1  

Don't agree with this one, in no way can you blame the husband coz he wasnt there!!! So that puts love at the bottom when really its just logic

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