Danielle Hodgson 3/2/2014 PHIL-1030-002 A World without Sacred Shining Moments To live in a world without sacred, shining moments is like breathing air without oxygen. It is these moments that fill us with hope and put meaning into our lives. In a modern sense, the world we once knew is now dull, without meaning or purpose. This idea is often regarded to as nihilism, which is the belief that “nothing really matters.” It is the lack of a firm grounding or belief system that guides our decisions. The authors of All Things Shining give indication that they dislike the idea of nihilism and believe that acts of heroism are the only sacred shining moments left in our secular age. The authors further suggest that their goals are to replace this complete absence of hope with new reason and abandon all despair, which will in-turn encourage others to pursue a meaningful life. In this world, there are heroes and pretenders. There are those who are quick to act, but are not deemed heroic. Whereas, there are those who are drawn by the world in a natural sense and are often referred to as heroes. These pretenders or pseudo-heroes tend to impose their will on the world. An example the authors use is Charles Foster Kane, a character in the well-established movie Citizen Kane. Kane is a self-righteous man whose one ambition is for the entire world to fall to its knees before him. Eventually, his lust for power and retribution lead to his ultimate demise when his own world is lost in a sea of chaos and uproar. His final words, “Rosebud,” prove to be the only relation to the life he once lived that actually held any true meaning (p. 4). The authors reveal examples in the text of who they believe the modern age views as heroes. Some examples are sp... ... middle of paper ... ...s and we should be appreciative of whatever those forces may be. However, the authors do not want to wholly commit themselves to worshiping divine beings. Instead they wish to experience the world and all its glory and wonder, but remain detached from Homer’s metaphysical perspective. In conclusion, the authors believe that nihilism, or the lack of grounding in decision making, is rampant in modern times. They believe that humans need to strive for something outside themselves to truly enjoy life. In the times of Homer, the Greeks strived to be in tune with the Gods. The authors believe that this religion largely prevented nihilism in this population, but it is important to note that they do not point at the specific religion itself. Instead, they point at the outward striving. Either way, the moral of this story is to believe in something rather than nothing at all.
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The heroic archetype is a creative expression borne of the individual's desire to know and to understand the uncontrollable and often chaotic world in which he lives. In the popular culture of America we can find many reflections of the heroic figure; in writing, in the graphic art of comic books, and most certainly in the aftermath of September 11th, heroes are ever present. Our cultural champions speak to our collective need to make sense of the nonsensical and to establish order in both our external and internal worlds. Indeed it is through the internal world of the psyche and the lens of psychological thought that we may gain a better perspective of the fusion of creativity and knowledge that we have come to call the heroic figure.
In conclusion, a hero may not measure up to what the public accepts as true, but the nation grants them credit for the country’s success. If the world lacked baristas and other “small” employments, “the right stuff’s” significance would cease to exist. A hero’s accomplishments often overshadow the genuine individual behind the deeds. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe illustrates how humans have the tendency to place heroes in a position of high honor and respect, when perhaps these idols do not hold entitlement to the privileges they
The concept of heroism has been explored by every author in every generation of writing. The earliest heroes were “self” described heroes that existed within Greek mythology and gained the actual title “Hero” by completing feats that, while they were humanly possible, were only accomplishable by those at peak human form, both physically and mentally. For as long as heroism has been used in literature, and spoken word, they have all had the common theme of humanity. The most prominent heroes were all human, some were “underdog” heroes starting at a disadvantage, some were a manifestation, or reflection, of the average person of the time, and yet others were supposed to represent the peak of humanity. The hero embodies the ideals of the society but is often helpless at the hands of fate.
Throughout history, normal-everyday people rise to power, only to coerce or ruin a society and its morals. There are also some who rise and fight back. In stories and in real life, these “heroes” who fight back usually end up dead. Even today, a martyr’s sacrifice is essential in most of society’s changes.
In the ancient world, the gods of the Greeks had been predominately confined to cosmological deeds prior to the works of Homer. "As Hesiod laid out the roles of the gods in his Theogony and the Works and Days, it is apparent that though the gods were active in the creation of the cosmos, natural phenomenon, and cyclical events such as seasons, they were not however, functioning in any historical way"(Bloom 36). This strictly cosmological view of the gods was in no way unusual to the ancient world. Though the breech of theology into historical events was perhaps first introduced by the Hebrews at the turn of the first millennia B.C.E., it was soon echoed in the religious paradigms of homo religiosus throughout the Near East and Europe. In the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E. another predominate thought swept the ancient world; life is suffering. An obvious question arises from the mixture of these two thoughts; if the gods are functioning in the historical reality of mankind why do they allow and/or cause suffering? This is the dilemma that Homer sets out to solve in the epic poem The Odyssey.
Heroes are often described as physically attractive, strong, intelligent figures with a flair for grand gestures,and an eloquent knack for stringing words together. The fundamental aspects of what defines a hero are conveniently glazed over. People forget that heroes often lead lives of quiet determination. When they have an idea, a goal they want to accomplish, they ignite a spark within themselves that burns into an uncontrollable blaze, which that can only be tamed by success. The fabricated image of a hero has been so deeply rooted into society that the quiet heroes in literature, such as Jefferson from A Lesson Before Dying, are often forgotten, or the misdeeds of cowards such as Frankenstein are overlooked. Jefferson is the literary foil for Victor Frankenstein, because he has strongly built morals that enable him to become a hero, whereas Victor Frankenstein is a weak willed and indecisive character. A hero is defined by their ability to go through with a task despite the obstacles that lie in their way, along with their courage and ultimately, they accept any responsibility that may befall them.
Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons takes place in midnineteenth century Russia. Throughout the text Turgenev explores the pros and cons of the nihilist philosophy and how nihilism, coupled with the presence of generational and class based animosities, affects the greater Russian identity. Properties of nihilism are examined and tested as the characters encounter aristocratic lifestyles and the redeeming power of love. The female characters in Fathers and Sons represent a wide range of socioeconomic positions and temperaments, these women test the thinking of the nihilists by their propensities towards emotion, order, feminism, shyness, and propriety. This exploration of gender roles and the balance of power between women and the men that they control is subject to their ascribed classes and the relationships they hold. These women fall into two major categories: the autocratic and the dependent. The aristocratic “mothers” and dependent “daughters” of Fathers and Sons bring about the reevaluation of Bazarov and Arkady’s nihilistic beliefs and furthermore utilize their feminine qualities to manipulate the men in their lives.
This chapter of All Things Shining starts off with telling the story of the beautiful Helen of Troy leaving her husband and son to run away with the irresistible Paris. The story explains that she is compelled to do this by the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Welcoming her back with open arms, Menelaus knows that she was only following the goddesses’ directions and realized it wasn’t her fault, but Aphrodite’s. When Helen announces her fault of actions no one at the dinner party seems to be amused, but Homer’s feelings for his wife seem to be decreased. Later in the text we find out that Homer’s definition of a god is “a mood that attunes us to what matters most in a situation, allowing us to respond appropriately without thinking,” which explains why Homers’ reaction was’t as elaborate as we thought it would be. The Greeks counted on the gods to set their moods and to show them what matters most in situations.
We see the modern hero as actor and sufferer, rebel and victim rough and saint. We see him in the glass of fiction darkly, paradoxically as man both typical and uncommon, the outsider in the street. (Five Faces of Hero 28)
In The Odyssey, the hierarchical relationship between both gods and humans is a key aspect in the overarching unity that is the epic. These can both be in contrast with each other and it can been seen that there are similarities between the types of people we meet in The Odyssey as well as the gods we meet also. Homer uses this theme and system of hierarchy to effectively display aspects of his worlds though The Odyssey. The main features that help prove this point are: that society within The Odyssey is hierarchical, the upper class and the servants (with equivalent gods) are focussed on, (Hierarchy of Greek Gods, 2015) and finally, the gods parallel their respective opposites on earth. These features help to show Homers world of The Odyssey.
Have you ever thought what would be like if the gods get involve in our life? What would be of us if they do? In the story of Homer 's Iliad, we see how the gods gets involve in people life quite often, and what effect it have on the person when they do. In this paper I will be arguing the differences and the similarities of books 3 and 22 from Homer 's Iliad. I will be talking about the issue of human free will vs. the role of gods in our life. In particular, in book 3 we see how our free will can have the gods get involve in our life’s, where in book 22 we see how free will can decide our destiny without any help from the gods.
Homer is a classic author known for both The Iliad and The Odyssey. The texts present themes that I claim can be seemingly universal in understanding. I wished to test this out by relaying a scene of The Iliad to a few family and friends. I hypothesized that they will be able to relate and understand the motivations of the characters that are portrayed in the epic. However, I believed that some questions regarding the culture of the characters will arise. I will explore this concept by first giving more background on The Iliad, specifically the passage I shared, and then explain the process in which I went about gathering responses, and then relay the reactions. I used the reactions gathered to try to predict my birth culture’s reaction to
The author mentions about the myth of hero being erased from existence due to the rising of the mass media in people’s life. This is completely accurate because communication through mass media often leads to distortion in the original message. This leads to lack of recognition of