Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Burials and Hospitals

For the past two days I've been swirling in and out of most of the doctors offices in Bozeman. No one could tell me what was wrong and the situation because so bad that my mother journeyed up from Billings to see me. Luckily for me it turned out to be something minor and not the major thing everyone was thinking. While I was going through these tests and doctors and waiting periods I was thinking about a lot of things. However, whether or not my parents would be able to bury me was not one of them.

In the case of Polynices and whether or not Antigone should have the right to bury his body I'm on the fence. Of course everyone knows that the ancient Greeks viewed burial rights as key to getting onto the ferry at Styx and making it to the afterlife. If these burial rights go uncompleted however, the soul is left to wander the banks of the river. This is probably the worst thing you could do to a person as the Greeks viewed it, and certainly one would need to do something incredibly atrocious to deserve such a fate. As for Polynices, I believe he did commit an atrocity.

As Socrates would have said Polynices chose his actions and knew what the consequnces would be. If he had not been prepared for the punishment he should not have commited the act. Antigone should also accept the laws of her country because again Socrates would agrue it is the country that raised her, educated her, and provides for her and if she is unhappy she may leave at anytime. But even if the stronger arguement is for Polynices to go unburied it certainly does not mean its right.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Creativity is Naivety

I am someone who enjoys the creative aspect of English; the flow of words, the captivating narrative of a superb story, the excitement of piecing together the concept for a new story. Because of this I could not help but to feel alarmed when Dr. Sexson spoke to us about the story of a young Gallatin County native boy who was drug to his death by a horse some years ago. Dr. Sexson went on to tell us how this very incident could relate not only to a Greek who had experienced the same fate, but also to Hecuba who had to bury her young grandchild before his time. This story, which the Bozeman Daily Chronicle had deemed minor placing it in the ‘briefs’, had already been told time and time again.

After class I began to think, if this is to be true about something so constant as death could it not be just as true for something else more broad? I thought of the recent movies I had seen, one being the summer blockbuster The Dark Knight,and how the story of Bruce Wayne is the same story of the Homeric Heroes. I thought of the story of Andrea Yates, the woman who murdered all five of her children maliciously in the bathtub, and of Medea, the woman who murdered her two children in a revenge scheme against her husband’s abandonment. The more I thought the surer I was that none of the stories I will read in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle will be original, no movie I watch will never have been told before, and the television shows I watched as a child will be the same my children will one day watch.

Coming to this conclusion, I took things a step further. Would it not then, be an accurate statement to say that not even ones thoughts are original but have been thought by millions of people for hundreds of years. We ourselves are not unique and individual creatures, all of us are living in the same time at the same place watching and reading and hearing the same things. Our experiences are our own, but they are not original. All one must do is look back to the classics, the first books, to see the problems they face were the problems their ancestors before them faced too. So perhaps if one now wishes to be truly original they must answer the questions we have been asking for a thousand years, but just make sure you answer it first.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Mother's Struggle

Professor Sexson is constantly repeating to our class that history is not mythology because mythology is ever present in our lives and our situations. The stories of our lives are no different than the stories of our past; they are dramatic, heartfelt and explain unanswered questions. No sooner had I begun our first reading did these words come across my mind and became displayed on the pages in front of me.

Though most focus on the story of Demeter and Persephone as the Greek’s explanation of seasons I saw something much more tangible than that. Demeter’s struggle is one that mother’s continue to face each and every day. A mother gives birth to her child, nurtures her child, provides for her child, all leading up to the abandonment the child will one day commit. Of course, mother’s today are a bit more prepared for this departure than our poor Goddess Demeter was.

How Demeter feels and reacts can be felt by any woman intending to become a mother or already having a child. We as humans seem to focus on the things around us as possessions. When one of our possessions up and leaves us it can be a trying time. Though like Persephone, the children of today come back to see the parents they abandoned it can never be the same as when they were innocent children. The mother cannot know the new experiences a child has, cannot champion the child, or punish the child; the mother is cut off from a section of the child’s life. And though we as children know the pain our mother’s feel at our departure we still continue to leave the home in search of greater things.