Women In The Myth Of Echo And Narcissus

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Throughout the history of literature women have always played a vital part of storytelling. Women are often portrayed one of two ways, either as the beautiful young damsel or the wicked woman behind the downfall of the damsel. In both the works, “The Myth of Echo and Narcissus” by Edith Hamilton and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates, the main characters are very narcissistic, self absorbed characters. Narcissus and Connie’s stories are similar, yet the reception of these seemingly alike stories are incredibly different. Through various demonstrations of each story disrupting today’s social norm and complex gender-sensitive roles, the differences between a male and female characters are revealed to be strikingly…show more content…
Very aware of his own beauty he treats the other nymphs with little to no attention or care, not sparing any attention to any other nymph. On the other hand we have Echo, said to be the “fairest of the nymphs”, which Hera has taken her anger out on by taking away her voice. Condemned to always have the last word but “no power to speak first”, Echo is left to pine after the heartless Narcissus. Cursed by Nemesis, Narcissus’ punishment comes in the form of falling in love with himself so hard that he ultimately withers away while watching his own reflection. Narcissus’ self absorbed nature left the other nymphs heartbroken, scorned, and bitter. Nemesis, Echo and all the other nymphs were hurt by the thoughtless actions of one man. Although his death is very symbolic to the fact he died staring at himself, one could argue that the fate met to Connie is seemingly written to be much worse, or at least it is written to be perceived…show more content…
This demonstrates how ultimately naive her character is. Still a young girl, Connie decides that she wants the public to see her as a older and sexier version of herself. Everything Connie is doing is very much like what every teenage girl does; hanging out with friends, being rebellious towards family, exploring her sexual identity, and caring too much about what she looks like. These are very common, very human attributes which show how archetypical Connie’s character is of a 20th century teenager. On the other hand, Narcissus is so full of himself that the only thing he loves is his own reflection which is where his and Connie’s story differ greatly. Connie is hyperaware of her beauty because she seeks social validation of her worthiness while Narcissus is beyond that point, he truly loves himself more than the physical beauty of any other nymph. The story of Narcissus stems from a time where there was no distinct separation between being a child to being a man. Perhaps although his story is written to elicit negative feelings toward Narcissus’ heartbreaker ways, maybe Narcissus is trying to find himself just as Connie

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