Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oedipus Rex

“Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires- Necessity and Free Will.” Thomas Carlyle

The crucial theme in Oedipus Rex is definitely free will vs. fate. These two pathways are nonetheless intertwined. One cannot abide without the other. There will be a perpetual balance. Oedipus’s road wasn’t foggy and bleak like most.The oracle told Lais and Jocata that their son would grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. The oracle also told Oedipus his fate. He then, of his free will chose a path he thought would lead him to a different fate, but then soon realized that his own will sealed this foretold destiny.  

 I believe if Lais and Jocasta hadn't tried to change the situation Oedipus would have had a fairly normal life, or perhaps the Gods would have taken pity on the family's fate. The same goes for Oedipus later on in his life. If he had not left Corinth in the first place, he wouldn't have come back to his real hometown of Thebes. It's so funny that by their own free will, they sealed their fate. It was either by fear in Oedipus's case, or arrogance on Jocasta or Lais's case that this horrible fate came true.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Revolutionary Road Big Question Blog

What is happiness and what is the degree of importance in one's life?

"Happiness" by The Fray

"Happiness is just outside my window
I thought it'd it crash blowing 80-miles an hour?
Or is happiness a little more like knocking
On your door, and you just let it in?

Happiness feels a lot like sorrow
Let it be, you can't make it come or go
But you are gone- not for good but for now
Gone for now feels a lot like gone for good

Happiness is a firecracker sitting on my headboard
Happiness was never mine to hold
Careful child, light the fuse and get away
'Cause happiness throws a shower of sparks

Happiness damn near destroys you
Breaks your faith to pieces on the floor
So you tell yourself, that's enough for now
Happiness has a violent roar

Happiness is like the old man told me
Look for it, you'll never find it all
But let it go, live your life and leave it
Then one day, wake up and she'll be home"

Happiness is one of the most important thing in anyone's life (So what if that's almost an absolute statement). I would even rank it with oxygen it's that important. But then I have to ask myself, if a person is unhappy with a situation, should should alter their lives or relationships until they feel they can achieve it. Is  the pursuit of happiness the ultimate bringer of unhappiness and is happiness something or someplace tangible for anyone to find?

Happiness and fufillment are such a huge themes in the Richard Yates's novel Revolutionary Road. Because of it (or lack of it) the marriage of Frank and April Wheeler is almost torn apart. Maybe if they tried harder to find contentment in their own lives, Happiness would have snuck into their living room windows. Or Maybe they didn't try hard enough to change their lives and relationships. The Fray's lyrics "Happiness has a violent roar" suits this book. No one never really knows who or where Happiness is. Whoever or wherever he or she is, desire for their attention definitely increases his or her elusiveness.

Odyssey Big Question Blog.

Why do we bother to examine/study the past, present or future?

I know it's very cliche but things become cliche because of importance and truth. The past is a very great tool for understanding the present and more importantly the future. Human beings do not like change and our behaviours and attitudes towards many things have not changed at all. Looking into the past would help us understand ourselves and others. This is one of the many reasons that the Homer's epic poem The Odyssey is still relevant in our modern world.

Odysseus, the main character, had been away fighting in the Trogan war for 10 years and then spent another 10 years for him to reach his home of Ithaca. Odysseus's sly cleverness ( I believe his best and worst trait) gives him such a human quality though the goddes Athena does assist him much of the span of the epic poem.  His longing for home and being reunited with his family in his home despite his physical and seemingly emotional strength also aids with the pathos. The ability of the modern audience to be absorbed in this very pathos proves the importance of studying the past. It only gives us humans a better look at ourselves and ultimately our futures.