Monday, February 7, 2011

Stranger Than Fiction.... and Fact.. and Really Anything Else.

The Stranger...
My most favorite book ever! (if you can't see the sarcasm dripping from my lips, there is a puddle on the ground of gooey and thick sarcasm) Now. Mrs. Leclaire, i know you will read this, so The Stranger is not an awful book. It is a good comparision to Crime and Punishment. But for my big question blog, it makes me want to... yeah.

Mersault is a man with no emotion, belief or conviction. He kills an arab that no one cares about. He parades his atheism about and believes in truth. Until he is sentenced to death. Death is what causes Mersault to (for once) look at his past and wonder what happened or why maman died and how he treated that whole situation. Mersault get 35 points for being a hollow and senseless man which contributes to his early demise. Analyzation of The Stranger may be over analyzation... The class decided it may just have to be taken at face value. DEATH causes poor (pitiful) Mersault to reflect upon himself... so cliche.

The Troubled Mind of a Troubled Murderer

Rodion Romanovic Raskolnikov. Law Student. Lover. Murderer of 2. Rodya kills two lowly women in their apartment to better his society. And gets off scott free. Crime and Punishment was a fantastic read. i thoroughly enjoyed it. It was stylistically pleasing and the story was intriguing.

A reflection upon Raskolnikov would reveal that although it appears to everyone else that he is innocent, Raskolnikov believes everyone knows he is guilty. He wears away at his own conscience, and turns himself in. What causes Raskolnikov to examine his deeds? His deteriorating sanity must have triggered that mechanism. Raskolnikov was slowly losing his mind to paranoia, yet still stayed out of the major goings on of the investigation until giving himself up. It is difficult to say one thing in particular made Rodya constantly examine himself, but clearly the murder and his overwhemingly guilty conscience finished him off. One's own psyche can also be the determining factor in what causes man to look in the mirror and challenge himself to see what he has done.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Where For Art Thou Prince Hal?

King Henry IV. Play, written by William Shakespeare. The protagonist, Prince Henry (Hal) is the son of Henry Bolingbroke, current King of England, who needs a more dependable heir than his ruffian of a son, who hangs around in a pub with his gang of small timers and lazy ragamuffins. Hal thinks himself clever, waiting for his moment to save the day and earn his father's crown. Hal's nemesis, Hotspur, also seeks the crown with his band of Welshmen and disenfranchised Englishmen looking to reclaim the throne they gave to Bolingbroke.

Hal's journey is that of redemption and slowly climbing his way to his father's side. While he is attempting to redeem himself, he slowly changes who he is, turning his pub crowd slightly against him, with its leader, Sir john Falstaff being upset with Hal because he is changing who he is to become his father's successor.

So, did Hal ever look back at his actions to see how it was changing him? Some would argue to say so. I think that Hal's reflection of himself being like the sun hiding behind a cloud to be an agreement with Hal's conscious decision to change who he is in order to assume the throne. But is his self-diagnosis caused by loyalty to his father and a want to become closer to him? or is Hal just another greedy crown-seeker?

Regardless of his motivation for getting the crown, Hal's reflection is caused by his place in line for the throne, as his father's heir. Hal's reason for reflection is his advancement of his title and place in society. Advancement through the social structure is the reason man will reflect upon his life and travels when facing a trying situation.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Peculiar Case Oedipus

How can a man who doesn't know the full extent of his life reflect and look back to examine his life? The Greeks believed that one could recieve answers from an oracle, a mystic, or a priest to ask questions of the gods, who, surely for a king would give answers.
The prophecy of Oedipus stated that Oedipus would grow up, kill his father, king of Thebes, then marry his mother and become king himself. His parents send him away as a baby to be killed in the fields, but he is spared by the shepard. Oedipus grows up not knowing he is the Prince of Thebes, travels to Thebes, and kills his father when he refuses to move out of the way of his son when the cross eachother on a thin road. Oedipus reaches Thebes, where he unknowingly fulfills the prophecy by marrying his mother.

After hearing of the prophecy, he puts out his own eyes. But, before that, where did Oedipus look back and assess how he had gotten there? Nothing in his life would have indicated that he would commit such an act. Was it the oracle who revealed the prophecy? Was it Oedipus' own action? How could a man decide that his eyes should be put out for his pre-determined path?

I could then ask, "Can a man control his own destiny? Or is fate and predestination the true 'deciding' factor in life?" but i will save that for another blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Odysseus Wrecks

Why is it that when a figure of elevated status (Odysseus in Homer's The Odyssey) can always manage to escape mass amounts of guilt and carnage because they are Heroes?
For example, a very modern model is Lindsey Lohan. (any more need be said?) She was released from prison days after being sent there... Because she is a star. In a more literary context, the Greek hero Odysseus returns from the epic Trojan Waronly to find his home overrun with unwelcome guests; suitors competing for his wife's hand. In Greek society at the time, a value known as Xenios was critical to society. Xenios was the fair and elevated treatment of guests in a person's presence or home. (Also valued by Christians, as the Ninth Circle of Hell is dedicated to those who betrayed friends family and guests.) Regardless of this, Odysseus strikes many of these men down. However, he is not punished by the gods. Does his status as a hero absolve him of the guilt of murdering his guests?

What Causes People to Look Back And Analyze Their Lives?

In the 13th century, a man named Dante Alighieri wrote a series of three stories, which he called The Divine Comedy.In his Inferno, Dante is led through Hell by the Roman poet Virgil. during his journey, he encounters many people he knew as well as many significant political figures of that era.

What would inspire a medieval man to think and write about his past experiences as if he were walking through Hell? What inspires man to question his past and analyze his previous experiences, think of his actions, and ultimately address his demons?