The Defiance of Women in Antigone and Whale Rider

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A young girl named Paikea once said, “In the old days, the land felt a great emptiness. It was waiting. Waiting to be filled. Waiting for someone to love it. Waiting for a leader” (Whale Rider). As seen in the eyes of Paikea, from the movie Whale Rider, a leader is a guide, someone who guides his or her people in the right directions, someone who does all he or she can do to improve his or her land. In the eyes of Antigone, from the play Antigone, princess of Thebes, the rules of the leader only seem right when she feels they don’t contradict with the rules of the gods. As she states in this quote: “It is the dead, Not the living, who make the longest demands: We die forever. . . .You may do as you like, since apparently the laws of the gods mean nothing to you” (Sophocles 58-60). Conversely, Paikea believes that she’s different, and that the rule of the gods is different for her. Although these characters display similarities by being defiant figures, the Greek tradition in which Antigone believes in, and the New Zealander’s tradition in which Paikea follows, differs significantly by beliefs. However, their culture’s discrimination towards women seems to be comparable. While the views on tradition, gender, and defiance are similar for Paikea and Antigone, the differences amongst them are striking. Tradition is the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, and information from generation to generation, especially by stories or by practices. As culture and religion differ amongst people, their traditions differ along with them. In the movie Whale Rider, the New Zealander’s tradition is worshiping in the whales. Paikea was the first child of Porourangi, son of their leader, Koro. It says, in their tradition, that the... ... middle of paper ... ...y, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”(Martin Luther King, Jr.) Works Cited Funke, Conelia. Goodreads. Goodreads inc, n.d. Web. 11. Martin Luther King, Xplore Inc, 2013. 13 November 2013. Martin, Jose. when. Goodreads inc, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. Sophocles. “Antigone.” McDougal Little Literature: American Literature. Evanston: McDougal Little, 2008. Whale Rider. Dir. Niki Caro. Perf. Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis. South Pacific Pictures/ApolloMedia GmbH & Co. 5/Filmproduktion KG, 2002. DVD. Newmarket Films, 2003.

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