Thursday, September 16, 2010


Do you believe that things are fated no matter what, or do you believe your actions can change the course of your life?

I've really never given fate much thought. It's a concept that kind of confuses me, and sitting there pondering the meaning of fate and if it's real or not starts to give me a headache. But thinking of it in terms of Oedipus Rex is a little less overwhelming to me, and also super interesting. Reading Oedipus Rex was fun in class and at the same time a little frustrating. I couldn't stand the fact that if Oedipus' parents hadn't heard the prophecy in the first place it never would have happened. Because they would have raised Oedipus on their own and he would have known who his true parents were and wouldn't have ended up killing his father and marrying his own mother (at least I hope not). But nevertheless the king and queen heard the future fate of their son and went to action to make sure that they could change the horrible future thus making it happen. So the question was: are things fated no matter what... and I think the answer would be no. Because if Oedipus' parents hadn't heard the prophecy, or even if Oedipus hadn't heard the prophecy their horrible "fate" would never had happened. 

And answering the question from life, my answer would be who knows?? As far as my knowledge goes nobody knows what their fate is so how do they know if they're changing it or keeping it the same? And here I go, back to getting a headache. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

our awkward heroes

Do the attributes of a hero remain the same over time?

      Heros are one of my favorite things to talk about. I'm all about all of the marvel heroes: spider-man, hulk, iron-man, and the x-men... and I'm not gonna lie I have two marvel posters in my room. Do these modern marvels have the same attributes as Odysseus though? I really don't think so. Odysseus was all about letting people know who he was and all about his accomplishments. The heroes we watch are all about secret identities and not letting it known who they are. Another attribute that has changed is pride. Odysseus was proud of who he was and glad to be a hero while our modern heroes are a little confused as to why they have their powers and what to do with them. And while eventually accepting who they are the majority of our heroes seem to long for their old life back. Another attribute that has changed is looks. Heroes of old seem to have great strength and beautiful faces to go along with that. But when we look at heroes such as spider-man and the hulk before he transforms, we see some pretty wimpy looking guys with a little bit of geek mixed in... not at all like Odysseus or Hercules. 
       So no, a lot of attributes of a hero have not remained the same over time. While our heroes are excellent at fighting the bad guys, they have a bit of a tougher time fitting in with the real world.

support and determination

In the face of adversity, what causes some individuals to prevail while others fail?

        I remember reading an article where there were two sons that had grown up with an alcoholic father. The first son eventually also become an alcoholic and when asked why he said it was because of his dad. The other son had worked hard and had become a successful, alcohol free business man, and when asked why he answered the same way: because of his dad. This brings me back to the question... why did the first son end up like his father, while the second son become a completely different man than his father?
        When I was younger I went through some things that most kids don't have to deal with, and the only thing that got me through was my family, especially my sisters. They were such a strong support system and I don't think I would have come out the other end the same person I am if they hadn't been there for me. They gave me strength when I didn't have much.
        My book, Peace Like a River, (by Leif Enger) is all about a very tight family and how they face adversity. When the oldest son of the family, Davy, kills two boys then escapes from jail the rest of the family goes on a cross country search to go find him. The whole book is how they support each other constantly and in the end the family prevails through all the tragedies. The reason why is because they face the adversities together and give each other strength to carry on.
        Another factor I think is determination. If you have a goal it will keep pushing you onward to overcome the adversity, as opposed to giving up. It could be anything: a goal to beat your enemy, a goal to become like someone, a goal to be unlike someone. In Peace Like a River their goal is to find Davy which keeps them pushing onward, even when they become subject to law. Determination gets them past the many bumps on the road.
        So basically there are many different answers to this question and many factors that play into people rising up against adversity as opposed to falling. But these are the two that I see as major themes in books, movies, and real life: support and determination.