Traitor in The Defector Episode of Star Trek Essay

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Traitor in The Defector Episode of Star Trek

In "The Defector," Jarroc becomes a traitor when he betrays the Romulan Empire. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary has several definitions for "betrayal," but the one we are interested in is the second, which reads, "to deliver to an enemy by treachery" (109). By defecting and telling the Federation of the Romulan plan to invade, Jarroc does just that. Merriam-Webster's further defines a traitor as "one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty" (1252). By defecting to the Federation and using information that the Romulan High Council gave him in trust to harm the Romulan Empire, Jarroc became a traitor.

Until the very end of the show, Jarroc did not believe
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You made your choices, sir! You're a traitor! . . . You've crossed over, Admiral. You make yourself comfortable with that" ("The Defector"). Picard's words may have helped Jarroc to think of himself in the way that everyone else already did; as a traitor. Soon afterward, Jarroc gave Picard the information that he had been holding back. Jarroc may have only given the information away for the same reason that he defected in the first place; it was the only way to achieve his goals. Even so, when Tomalak demands the return of the "traitor," Jarroc realizes that he had really gone all the way when he took the first step. This sort of thing is not a matter of perspective--it's impossible to betray someone just a little bit.

Some might argue that because Jarroc had not given the Federation any real information, he had not done any damage to the Romulan Empire, and therefore had not really betrayed them. There are two points to consider in this case. First, Jarroc had only been censured and reassigned four months earlier. Information that he obtained previous to that time would have still been correct. Some of the information that Jarroc gave Picard, such as fleet strengths and compositions, is unlikely to change over such a short period of time. So some of the information that Jarroc gave the Federation was probably tactically useful. Second, Jarroc carried a wealth of more strategic information. As Data admitted in the bar, the Federation's

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