Weekly Journal Update 11/29
Thursday, November 15th, 1–2pm
Who is more responsible for the death of their children, Medea of Jason?
Medea literally killed the children but it was Jason’s actions that pushed her to do so. I think a solid argument can and was given for both characters. The way I see it, they are both responsible, with more of the blame falling on Medea in the end. Jason shares a part of the blame because his actions and the way he expresses his love for Medea and his children’s well-being, cause Medea to feel pushed out and isolated. The way Jason sort of kicked her to the curb in order to marry up in the end left Medea feeling hopeless, she felt as if she had no other option, she felt like she didn’t have the resources to care for her children. However, the bulk of the blame for their children is still focused on Medea because she is a very crafty and definitely could have found a way to care for her children on the street without resorting to killing them off entirely.
The way Medea spoke about giving up her family and friends in order to marry Jason briefly reminded me of a book I just read. A “lowly” American actor falls for the princess and quickly queen of England. When she tells him of how impossible it will be for them to be together her, he insists that she give up her crown completely and move to America. This idea that she should have to give up a literal royal title as well as contact to her family and friends is extremely selfish considering the male protagonist expected to continue his career as if nothing happened. I found it to be a very selfish ultimatum and it turned me off from the story completely (I still finished the book though because the court politics were fascinating.
Monday, November 26th, 4–5pm
Tuesday, November 27: What is happiness? Read the Hero’s Quest p. 543–582.
1. How much of a “trickster figure” is Odysseus (compare our chapter on Hermes)?
Odysseus could be considered a trickster figure based on his intelligence and ability to get himself out of sticky situations. An example of Odysseus trickery is in book 9 (I believe). Odysseus and his men come upon the lands with cyclops. When Odysseus stops and lingers in a cave him and his men are trapped behind a bolder with Polyphemus and two of his men are immediately eaten. As Polyphemus reveals his plan to cook and eat Odysseus and the rest of his men, Odysseus hatches a plan to get them out of there. He gets the cyclops drunk on wine and they blind him. Then Odysseus attacks the cyclops and easily diverts the attention of those nearby since Polyphemus is shouting that “nobody” is hurting him. Odysseus and his men escape holding on to the underbelly of the cyclops’ sheep when they go out to graze.
I think that Odysseus’ crafty thinking to get out of this situation as well as others (pretending to be sick to avoid being enlisted) showcases him as being a trickster since they are known as being very intelligent and cunning.
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a figure in society?
One of the big advantages of being a trickster figure in society is that you can easily manipulate yourself into whatever position you want to be in by using your intelligence and the people around you. Tricksters are creative so they can be crafty and lend new ideas and a different perspective to society/those around them. Their lack of respect for societal norms could be seen as a good and a bad thing for society depending on the
Wednesday/Thursday, November 29th/30th, 10pm-2am
Something that crossed my mind during class was New Girl. When we discussed how in the Argonautica it is said that someone in love with you will face you during a conversation it reminded me of an episode in season one. Cece mentions to Jess that she noticed Nick’s feet always point towards her when he is talking to her, and after a little experiment at the grocery store Jess finds out it’s true. The girls believe this aspect of his body language reveals his true feelings and considering he grows to love Jess and marries her (I think) I would say it’s a true thing as well. It is interesting to see the way different people behave, physically, when they are interested in another. I think that certain aspects such as their bodies facing each other is accurate as I suspect you would want to give someone you’re interested in your full attention.
As the conversation progressed, I thought more about the ideas of how two people act while in love and how it is portrayed on tv and in books these days. Given that I was raised by a single mother I never had much of a look at two people in love throughout my childhood besides my grandma and grandad. But as I grew older, I wouldn’t even say that they were the most “in love” couple in my life since most of their romantic interactions were in private, and I’ve only heard about them after my granddad has died. My mother comes from a divorcee and none of my father’s siblings are in what I would call “healthy” long-term relationships, so I’ve found that I’ve gotten a lot of my ideas abut love from movies and books. This sounds super bad and like I would have a warped view of it, but I think that having multiple different examples of it coming from different authors and director’s minds help me to understand my view on the topic. I’ve also talked to my mom abut it, as well as my friends and with all of these differing opinions I’ve began to form my own. I think that if you simply see one example of “love” you could definitely have a wacked out view. My cousin, for example, comes from a “broken” home (that term always sounds so weird to me) and she is being raised in the generating where Riverdale and Instagram models are giving out definitions of love. As I secretly look at her private thoughts and posts I find that she has a very social media view of love, and that can only be attributed to the fact that she doesn’t see much of the real thing in life. The saving grace to many of my views, beyond just love, is the fact that my mother didn’t let me have my own twitter until I was lie junior in high school, and I didn’t get an Instagram until the beginning of this year (at first, I resented this but looking at my friends embarrassing posts from middle school- I can’t thank her enough). I grew up with Disney teaching me about love, but I also had my mom in my ear pointing out the dangerous paths some of the princesses were on.
*sorry all this talk about representations of love reminded me of something and now I must rant*
One of the most interesting yet infuriating tropes I find in the newest wave of books (mostly) is the idea that the alpha, over-protective male is attractive and worthy of love. Most of the time the behaviors that the male protagonist act out throughout the story should send the poor girl running but of course she’s described as being intensely aroused. Like yeah that could be great for a night or a fling, but really? We’re gonna marry the man who makes you wear a tracker and forced you to cut off your male friends, and orders you to do things like a trained animal. It’s ridiculous, and I really don’t see how being ordered around in every aspect of one’s life could be considered attractive.
Thursday, November 29: The Hero’s Quest, cont. pp. 582–601. Review for FINAL EXAM.
1. How does a human life (or a portion of a human life) resemble a quest? How is college life like a quest, for example?
Human life resembles a quest in that we usually have something we’re striving for at any particular point in our lives, and we face challenges and have helpers along the way. College is like a quest because we usually have one main thing we are striving for (a degree), we face villains and hurdles along the way (hard professors, difficult concepts, lost credits, etc.), there are different tests we must take and pass in order to continue with our quest, and we usually have a helper along the way in the form of a dedicated professor or advisor.
2. Is it possible to structure one’s life like a quest? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?
It definitely is possible to structure one’s life like a quest, and I think that many people do so. I think one’s entire life might have one end game a person is striving for but many “mini” quests along the way such as academic career, real career, a quest for love and a family, and a quest for a happy retirement and old age. I think that some of the advantages to structuring one’s life like a quest would be having a plan and everything mapped out. It’s probably easier to think about the future when you have a goal in mind and have a basic idea of what it is that you need to do in order to meet that goal. A disadvantage to having you life structured and mapped out like a quest could be that it doesn’t leave room for a lot of spontaneity. One could ruin a perfect opportunity because it wasn’t happening when they allotted for it to happen.