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My nephew Oedipus, the king, is aware of a curse that has befallen him, and he needs the advice of Apollo. I heed the request of my king and proceeds to the undertake a journey seeking the advice of the gods. Apollo comes up with a hard way of lifting the curse. He states that Oedipus has to look for the murderer of his predecessor, King Laius. He also has to ensure that he brings the murderer to justice.
My nephew is desperate to have the curse lifted for falling in love with his mother. The desperation drives my nephew to all sorts of pursuits for the Kingslayer. He puts a number of unwilling citizens under questioning. One of the people that he questions is a blind prophet by the name of Tiresias. The prophet gives him the unfortunate news that he (Oedipus) was the king’s slayer. This information is a real bother to my nephew since he is unaware of what he should do to vindicate himself. He is also forced to deal with the issue at crossroads. Jocasta, the queen, comforts her bus band by assuring him that the prophets ought not to be believed since after all they have been mistaken in their prophesies before.
She gives an analogy of how she was supposed to have a child with king Laius, who was prophesied that he would kill the king in his sleep and sleep with her. She states that they killed the child, and the prophesy did not materialize. The story does not comfort Oedipus since he had killed a man at crossroads and as a child; someone told him that he would kill his biological father. The same events in the story seem to relate to his story making him more and more anxious about the role that he had in all of this.
The king is worried since the story he is told from the wife and the other people is pointing towards one direction. Jocasta attempts to make her husband forget that there was any chance of him being the killer. She tries to shift his attention to something else and other people. Her attempts are ignored since Oedipus seeks the truth in pursuit of rest.
It takes Jocasta a moment of reflection for her to realize that the king is her son. She remembers how she had given up the infant son after the prophesy instead of killing him. The giving up of the son to adoption was an approach that was meant to ensure that the child would be safe while the prophecy will not be attained. Jocasta and Laius envision a bridge between the two outcomes and they are confident that this bridge will hold.
However, their perceptions are wrong. The bridge is a recipe for calamity since it still ensures that the prophesies are sustained. At every instance, when the Jocasta, king Oedipus, and King Laius try to change the destiny they, ironically, get closer and closer to its materialization.
Jocasta reflects the past and realizes that the inevitable had already happened. They had given up the child for the adoption but the child had still managed to come back into their lives. The death of King Laius at the crossroads occurs just as prophesied. All the time, Oedipus thinks that he is deposing of another king from this throne. However, he is unknowingly helping in the achievement of the prophesy.
The reflection by Jocasta on the turn of events makes her understand the main drivers behind the life events. She realizes that there was no way of changing the destiny of a person. The insight gained from the moment makes her realize that the mistake was already done, and the prophecy had come to the fulfillment.
The realization is mortifying. She cannot live with herself with the knowledge that her husbands were both father and son. The love the thinks she found is a rotten apple with an appealing sheen. The real underlying details her life and details no longer make sense in the traditional way. She realizes that what she has been through is a contradiction of all the moral principles of Thebes. Her involvement in the entire saga and the control is not important.
For Jocasta, my sister it is the end of life. She cannot envision any life with the burden of the news still heavy on her back. There is no way of looking at the world the same way. There is no way of continuing with her life with the son for a husband. The throne that she sits on is attained through morally corrupted means.
She realizes that she in desperate need for a reconciliation of the future and the past. She knows that she is in need of more than one approach to the matter. She looks for an approach that will make her more acceptable to the society. She searches for the second option to no avail. At this point, she opts for suicide whereby she will be able to find rest.
On the other hand, Oedipus still keeps on looking for information into his past. He moves down from his high societal level to intermingle with the lowest members of the society. The mingling with the lowly makes him realize that the information about his past has been within his reach for the longest time possible. The shepherd and the messenger give him the story about his childhood. The explanation also shed the light on his past and the fact that Laius and Jocasta are his parents.
He realizes that the prophecy that the blind prophet told him had been the running theme all along in his life. He realizes that the prophecy had been fulfilled since he had been sleeping with his mother, and he had already killed his father (Sophocles. & Bagg, 1982). This realization is also too much to deal with, so he opts to gouge out his eyes since they are the main causes of the fulfillment of the prophesy. The public humiliation makes him lose the right to the throne. He is desperate for a place whereby he can hide away from the glare of the public humiliation. He requests that I take care of his children (Sophocles., Storr, Sophocles., Sophocles. & Sophocles., 2008). He also asks for a banishment due to the veracity of his actions. He requests me to send him off Thebes even after my insistence that he should stay at the events that took place were beyond his control.
Altering of a story gives it a new feeling and understanding such that it is no longer in the same genre. It could even change the flow since the storytelling from another perspective introduces the new perception. The word choice and the organization of thoughts cannot be the same when a story is told from another perspective.
The story changed from a play into a narrative since the third party perspective in storytelling requires that a narrator recount the events. The authenticity of deducing the cause and effects of the events is also lost when one uses the third party perspective in storytelling. The audience is subject to taking the perception and the perspectives of the third party storyteller as the ultimate truth even when they are not. The originality in the story also fails.
Most of the characters in the play are not included in the third party storytelling since the third party story telling is more of a narration of the sequence of events and the main characters. The small parts that fail to meet the criteria for categorization as major events or significant contributors to the plot are inevitably removed from the narration.
Use of the third party perspective in storytelling removes the outright depiction of the character trains of the rest of the characters. There is an inevitable focus on the characters that are more important. The other characters playing supportive roles are not accorded the same respect. They are eventually part of the system, but their contribution is lost.
The third party characters end up being relegated to the secondary roles whereby they are mentioned in passing, and their contributions to the story or the development of the plot are mentioned or ignored entirely. This issue leads to the question of how effective the third party story was telling is.
Third party storytelling helps in the understanding of the vantage points on the topic of discussion. The third party storytelling allows the reader to view the story from different perspectives. The reader can understand what the actual perspectives of the partners were in the end. It will also lead to the understanding of the main traits of the character.
The third party storytelling allows the reader to understand the main drivers of action in a certain character. Some of the characters are opaque, and one has to fit himself or herself in their shoes to understand their motivations. Therefore, third party storytelling leads to the development of a more adept understanding of the story.
The lesson learnt from this assignment is that there are numerous ways of looking at a story. Each character in a story is a representative of a different viewpoint. The vantage points in a story help a reader understand the motivation of certain courses of action. It also helps validate the activities that are undertaken.
The information obtained from the assignment is also relevant in the contexts outside the classroom. Various people are involved in any situation. In order to understand the situations better, on has to focus on the other sides and vantage points in the story. The decision-making processes that involve the adoption of different vantage points calls for the evaluation of the different points of view. The outcome of this approach is the increment of the fairness and inclusivity of the decisions.
Rao, S., Wolf, G., & Sophocles., (2004). Sophocles' Oedipus the King. Los Angeles, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum.
Sophocles., & Bagg, R. (1982). Oedipus the King. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Sophocles., Storr, F., Sophocles., Sophocles., & Sophocles., (2008). Oedipus trilogy. [Auckland, N.Z.]: Floating Press.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Season 4 Episode 26: The Philadelphia Story
The problem stems from the fact that Will ran away from a fight against Omar four years ago. As a result, he has been labeled a coward and his reputation has suffered greatly in his absence. Being back in Philadelphia and caring about his reputation forces him to try and get into a fight with Omar, so that he can clear up his reputation
Although Will is willing to fight Omar, a number of complications arise from the situation. First, Will is considered a lightweight, and is virtually unable to take on Omar, who is stronger and more athletic that Will. Secondly, although he is willing to fight, Carlton strongly disagrees with will’s method of regaining his reputation. He does not believe that a fight against Omar, which most likely would injure Will terribly, is the way to go. Third, Will is on the receiving end of negative peer pressure as his old friends lead him into believing the only way to reclaim his reputation is to face off against Omar in a fight.
Will and Omar finally meet at Carol Park on the basketball courts where their conflict actually occurred four years ago. Omar, now a changed man, does not believe in violence as a means of settling disputes. Will tries hard to provoke Omar into a fight but Omar stands his ground and leaves, telling Will that he must ‘grow up’.
Omar fails to succumb to Will’s provocations, even when Will goes as far as making jokes about Omar’s mother. Will threatens to tell everybody that Omar is a ‘punk’ and, in essence, ruin Omar’s reputation. Omar asks him to go ahead and do that since he does not care about such issues. He tells Will that he must ‘grow up’, and essentially let go of the past.
Will finally comes to terms with the fact that he ran away from a fight four years ago, and that he is basically labeled a coward in his home neighborhood. He realizes how much he misses his old neighborhood and postpones leaving for Bel-Air with his uncle’s family.
3. Character Strengths and Weaknesses
It is the character of Will that essentially moves the plot forward. His strong desire to vindicate himself as a coward, forces him to resolve that he must fight Omar. He even trains for the supposed fight. His ego forces him to choose to engage Omar, so as to save his reputation, despite the fact that it could injure him seriously.
Complications from strengths and weaknesses
The weakness of Carlton’s character also advances the plot. During training, Will easily out-strengthens Carlton in almost everything, making him believe that he is ready for the fight. The cowardice of Carlton also pushes Will into deciding to fight Omar. This is as a result of Carlton not understanding the importance of reputation in Philadelphia.
Character traits helping the Resolution
The strength of Omar’s reformed character helps to resolve the situation. His strong restraint and self-control makes him decide against fighting Will despite numerous provocations. This reformed character also forces Will to accept and let go of the past. It is this that allows Will to come to terms with his present reputation.
Do characters stay true to their traits?
The characters of Will and Carlton stay true to their traits until the end. It is only at the end that Will’s character changes, allowing him to accept the reality of the matter. The present character of Omar does not stay true to his old character, but instead to his new and reformed one.
This episode hints at the fact that some people will believe so strongly in their need to have a ‘tough’ reputation that they will be willing to fight for it. The episode also hints at the fact that sometimes individuals are forced to accept the reality and make rational and informed decisions regarding important aspects of their lives.
4. General Sitcom Description
‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ is a story about Will and his life in Bel-Air, California, after leaving Philadelphia due to getting involved in a fight. This episode seeks to shed light on the reason behind Will’s move to Bel-Air. It also focuses on Will’s desire to salvage his reputation after they travel back to Philadelphia for the holidays. The key problem presented in this show is the effect of peer and social pressures, which may force individuals into making wrong decisions concerning their lives. Characters play the central role in moving the conflict throughout the entire show, and the characters of Will, Carlton and Omar play key roles in pushing this conflict forward.
The underlying belief in this episode is that the African American community believes so strongly in a false sense of ‘reputation’ and the need to be acknowledged as a fighter and generally tough individual. Just like Will’s character, many of them would be ready to engage in violence just to prove this point. Will represents the typical African American man that is supposedly willing to fight to retain his reputation, despite the fact that it could injure him seriously. Carlton, on the other hand, is the typical upper-class citizen who looks down upon the less wealthy. The assumptions provide an in-depth view into the psyches of the African American population, and the supposed prominence that they assign to one’s reputation. The denouement reinforces the message that one must ‘grow up’ and come to terms with life as it is. It also emphasizes the need to remain true to one’s roots, and the need to face challenges as they arise, rather than run away from them. This is evident in Will’s decision to stay in Philadelphia.
This episode of ‘the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and the sitcom in general espouse the need to avoid negative peer and social pressures, due to the consequences that they bear. This episode, in particular, teaches every viewer that violence is not the answer to any problem that one may face, and that coming to terms with reality is the best way of moving forward.
Kercheval, Jesse L. Building Fiction: How to Develop Plot and Structure. Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003. Print.
PollyStreaming.com. 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Season 4, Episode 26 (The Philadelphia Story)'. N.p., 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
Sternberg, Meir. Expositional Modes and Temporal Ordering in Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. Print.
Storytelling is a form of art whose history can be dated back to thousands of years back. Storytelling has been used for a couple of purposes including fun and being educative. However, in this case, the concern is the use of storytelling for survival. Many storytellers have used their capability to write stories to serve the purpose of survival. Despite each author using a different way to design his or her story, the common thing that can be noted from the stories is that they have a similar purpose. The art of storytelling has been passed from one generation the other over thousands of years and plays an intrinsic part in the different cultures and societies all over the world. The essay will provide evidence to support that the story in the book is about survival, proving to the reader that indeed storytelling can be told to serve the purpose of survival. The author uses the story to assert to those who doubt his writing skills that he can overcome the possible writing problems that critics think that he undergoes.
According to Ingram’s “Once Upon a Time, the invention of stone tools and telling of stories have one thing in common: both are for survival. In David Arason’s “A Girl’s Story,” the narrator of the story is himself a writer who needs to survive both financially and psychologically. His main problem being that he drinks a little bit too much than he should. Despite the drinking not being advisable for his career, there is a good side to the story. When he is sober, he experiences difficulties coming up with characters for his stories. Arnason also informs the reader of the need of having interesting characters in a story. Therefore, the survival of the narrator as a writer depends on him overcoming his barrier of creating interesting characters. The narrator also uses drinking as a solution from his life away from storytelling, since it is not that interesting. Therefore, it is correct that the narrator uses drinking, to solve two problems; more like killing two birds with one stone. Arnason has another option of stealing characters, but he had an experience of a stolen character turning out to be a complete flop.
In this story, the narrator focuses on another factor that is a barrier to his writing skills according to one of the reviewers: that the author does not do settings. The reviewer claimed that the possible reason that the author does not do settings is because he is not so good at them. Therefore, for his survival as a writer, the author needs to prove to the reviewer that he or she is completely wrong. The narrator knows that in order to create a successful love story, he has to use right stereotypes. In ‘A Girl’s Story’, Arnason creates a beautiful woman with precise definitions and puts her in a setting, which completes one face of an interesting love story (Engkent 2006). The character is a perfection of beauty and the author precisely creates a very beautiful image of the character, Linda. He then places her in a setting that with the perfect details making sure that it is not too much. Every detail in the scene is gentle on the outside and dangerous in the inside, including Linda.
The narrator nicely explains why he chose the name Linda and did not go for any other name. The reason for avoiding the use of any other name is avoiding symbolism and moral judgment, especially from using Biblical names. There is a scene where Linda battles with what she thinks to be right or wrong. She takes off her ring that was given to her by Gregg and raises it towards the light. As the ring reflects, Linda evaluates their relationship with Gregg wondering whether by agreeing to marry him she will be walking into a trap. Therefore, for Linda to survive and be happy at the same time, she has to break up with Gregg and be free. In this scene, Linda’s survival is dependent on her breaking her connection to Gregg and not getting married to him. All this time, she thinks whether she should put the ring on her finger and marry Gregg or throw the ring in the river. Finally, she stands up and throws the ring in the river. In the heat of the moment, she considers taking a dive into the river to recover the ring (Engkent 2006). However, she concludes that throwing the ring in the river is the only way she will be free from Gregg since he would never forgive her for throwing away the diamond ring he bought her. In conclusion, the story above shows how storytelling can be used for survival purposes. The narrator uses his talent as a storyteller to cater for his financial and psychological needs. In the story, we see Linda making some very crucial decisions that are meant to ensure her survival and chances of happiness.
Engkent, G., & Engkent, L. P. (2006). Fiction/non-fiction: A reader and rhetoric. Australia: Thomson Nelson. Essay
This article explores and discusses various texts and from these texts makes several deductions based on observations and the reader's interpretation of these texts.
The Story of Mary Rowlandson.
Mary Rowland was a British settler in the new America where one fateful day the colony where she lived in Massachusetts was attacked by native Indians, and she ended up being taken captive. Though the whole ordeal she lost family members and learned things about the Indians that provoked a new perspective on her. One thing she realized was that despite the belief of the British that the natives were savage and uncivilized, living among them somehow showed her some similarities and differences between her European culture and the Indian culture. For example, she narrates that an Indian gave her a bible to read which she found very comforting given the situation in which she was. Similarly, after living among the Indians for 11 weeks, there are some aspects of their culture that she begun to like such as their food and their behavior. She also notices that Indians wore European clothes despite their apparent hatred for each other. At some point, Rowlandson is unable to distinguish between savagery and civilization. (Rowlandson, 2007)
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? – Frederick Douglass
The Fight for Freedom by Douglass Frederick enumerated the wicked and evil nature of slavery and expressed his dissatisfaction with the inequality that characterized the American nation. This powerful speech was made on the 4th of July when America was celebrating Independence Day, and Douglass asks poignant questions laced with sarcasm, irony, anger, and logic. In one instance, he asks what independence the American people (white people) are celebrating when there are millions of black men and women toiling under the yoke of slavery and oppression. He even thinks it's an insult to his intelligence to be called to talk and glorify the 4th of July when he knows the tribulations that his fellow black people are undergoing (Baym et al., 2007).
Douglass' speech is full of anger and sadness at the same time, but this does not take away the effectiveness of his arguments. In fact, the anger makes his arguments come out authoritatively and depicts a man who is speaking out of conviction and purpose, a man who is convinced that a wrong is being committed and the people responsible for the commission playing dumb. Any person who has argued for a cause that he/she truly believes in will connect with Douglass' temperament and will immediately understand that a little emotion is a powerful tool that can make a message be heard tenfold (Baym et al., 2007).
The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost
This poem is probably one of the most misinterpreted poems in English literature because in attempting to translate it most people concentrate on the last three sentences rather than on the whole poem. When Frost wrote this poem, he was in a deep friendship with a person who would always complain about the decisions he made. For example when they were taking their regular walks through the woods, if they came upon a section where the path divided into two, they would choose one hoping that it would end with them seeing or experiencing something new. If this did not happen his friend would always remark that he wished they had taken the other path, perhaps something exciting would have occurred. It's widely believed that this behavior is what Frost was subtly referring to - his friend's inability to accept the consequences of his decisions (Frost, 1916).
Brother I'm dying - Edwidge Danticat
The argument that all writings are most likely affected by the opinion and bias of the writer seems to have validity given the connection writers have with what they are writing. In fact, to detach from a piece of writing and attempt to remain objective even for professional writers is a hard task given the emotions that certain subjects elicit in people. The excerpts from Danticat's book attests to this because it was written by a person who was related to the people depicted in the narrative first hand, and as such, the story is narrated from a first-person narrative (Danticat, 2007). The emotions of the writer are evidently visible from the texts, and the narrator expounds on the trials and tribulations that they underwent as a family leading to the deaths of her two brothers. Naturally, because of the magnitude of her loss, it's unimaginable to expect the writer to write about such an experience without attaching emotions (Baym et al., 2007).
From the pieces of narratives discussed in this paper, the issue of emotions and personal perspective of the writers is evident starting from Mary Rowland's story to Danticat's tale of the trials and tribulations her brothers underwent at the hands of America's security agents. The ability of the reader to analyze the use of literary devices to bring out their perspectives in the story is a useful asset in literature because it helps the reader to be able to assess the credibility and objectivity of a story.
So in spite of the fact that it's wholly challenging to be objective in such narratives especially where the whole story is about matters that are personal to them, there is a degree of leeway that writers are accorded to enable them to tell their own story.
Baym, N., Franklin, W., Gura, P., Klinkowitz, P., Krupat, A., Levine, R., & Wallace, P. (2007). The Norton anthology of American literature. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
Danticat, E. (2007). Brother, I'm Dying. New York, NY: Knopf.
Frost, R. (1916). The Road Not Taken. Retrieved October 25, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hwUrBgZeUA
Rowlandson, M. (2007). Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration. New York, NY: Book Jungle.
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