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The river

The river quiz

The River Quiz presents an intriguing scenario where participants are tasked with ranking five individuals based on their actions in a complex situation. This exercise revolves around Linda, who faces a moral and emotional dilemma while trying to reunite with her boyfriend, Charlie, across a river. The characters' decisions reflect various human aspects like business, chastity, friendship, love, and sex. By assessing and ranking these characters, participants gain insights into their own value systems and priorities. This self-reflection offers a unique perspective on personal values and how they influence compatibility and relationships with others.

Charlie and Linda who are very much in love and devoted to one another, are separated by a river with no way of getting across to the other side. On Linda's side of the river, there is a boatman who is able to take her over to the other side of the river but refuses to do so unless she pays him $100, twice his normal fare. Linda has no money and has no other way to get back across the river. Another man, Steve, then tells Linda that he will giver her $100 if she sleeps with him. Linda agrees to do so and on receiving the $100, pays the boatman who takes her over to the other side of the river. She is reunited with Charlie and they are very happy together. However, Charlie's friend, Felix, finds out what happened and immediately tells Charlie. On learning the news, Charlie finds Linda and ends things with her, stating that he wants nothing more to do with her.

The characters appear in the scenario in the following order: Charlie, Linda, the boatman, Steve, and Felix.

Your task is to evaluate the characters above, ranking them based on your level of sympathy for their situations or your identification with their actions.


Each character embodies a fundamental aspect of human experience and values, offering a deeper look into our personal priorities and ethical compass.

Boatman (Business)

The boatman's actions represent the world of commerce and economics. His decision-making process, driven by profit and market dynamics, reflects how we view and value business ethics and financial decisions in our lives. Choosing the boatman might indicate a prioritization of practicality, economic considerations, and perhaps a more pragmatic approach to problem-solving.

Charlie (Chastity)

Charlie stands for the principle of chastity, fidelity, and the sanctity of commitments. His reaction to the unfolding events sheds light on how we perceive loyalty and trust in relationships. Valuing Charlie could signify the importance placed on faithfulness, moral integrity, and the boundaries we set in our intimate relationships.

Felix (Friendship)

Felix embodies the essence of true friendship and the weight of honesty. His choice to reveal the truth to Charlie, despite its potential consequences, highlights the complex dynamics of trust, loyalty, and honesty in friendships. Favoring Felix might suggest a high regard for transparent and forthright relationships, valuing truth even when it's difficult.

Linda (Love)

Linda's character is a representation of love in its most passionate and perhaps desperate form. Her willingness to go to great lengths for love reflects the depth and intensity of romantic emotions. Preferring Linda in the ranking could indicate a deep respect for love and emotional connections, and a belief in the power of love to overcome obstacles.

Steve (Sex)

Steve symbolizes the more primal and perhaps opportunistic aspects of human sexuality. His proposal to Linda brings forth the complexities of human desires and the ethical dilemmas they can create. Ranking Steve higher might reflect an acknowledgment of the powerful role of sexual desires in human behavior and the moral ambiguities that often accompany them.

Your response to these characters not only reveals your alignment with these fundamental aspects of life - business, chastity, friendship, love, and sex - but also provides a unique insight into your personal ethical framework, emotional priorities, and how you navigate the often complicated human experience.

Response evaluation

The analysis reflects how people rank characters, showing diverse views on human interaction.

Linda (Love) leads with 35% empathy for her actions, closely followed by Charlie (Chastity) at 30%, valued for trust in relationships. Felix (Friendship) gains 20% support for honesty, while Steve (Sex) receives 10% understanding for his pragmatic approach. The boatman (Business), with 5%, is seen by some as justifiably prioritizing profit in challenging situations.

Reflections and insights:

In the River Quiz, we explored human values and decision-making through a moral dilemma encompassing love, chastity, and ethics. This simple yet profound scenario highlighted our psychological tendencies and societal values. It challenged participants to critically think and introspect, revealing personal biases and priorities. This exercise illustrated how deeply our choices, influenced by societal norms and beliefs, define us and our core values.

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Comments (12)


I didn't sympathize with any of the characters, that is why: the Boatman is greedy and a hypocrite for wanting more money than he usually asks for, the Girlfriend for cheating, the Boyfriend for not finding a way himself to cross over and then berating the Girlfriend for finding a "solution", the Friend for not giving the couple any money to cross over and only being a snitch, so there's nothing important in my life?


you have a good point!


That's an important point. It may be necessary to revise the wording because of the significance 'sympathy' conveys.


Charles, Felix, Boatman, Steve and Linda


1. Linda (Love)

2. Felix (Friendship)

3. Charlie (Chastity)

4. Boatman (Business)

5. Steve (Sex)


Charlie,Linda,Felix,Boatman,Steve(I HATE STEVE)


Love, chastity, friendship, business, sex.

Social connection

social connection


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