Essay on The Greek Goddess Of Love Aphrodite Rising From The Ocean

Essay on The Greek Goddess Of Love Aphrodite Rising From The Ocean

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In many cultures water has feminine connotations. The Greek goddess of love Aphrodite rising from the ocean, or the Finnish Aino from the Kalevala who maintains her purity by drowning herself, it is clear the sensuality and beauty of women is related to water. These archetypes differ from each other, one sexual and round and the other pure and innocent, both stereotypes of the mother and the maiden. The use of these stereotypes is pervasive. Water is also viewed as cleansing and transformative. From the above examples, Aphrodite arises spontaneously out of the water and takes a human form and Aino turns into a fish. Like the stories before them, True by Rikka Pulkkinen and The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis also associate water with the feminine, especially in terms of sexuality and maternity. Characters that embrace the above aspects of femininity are able to experience peace.
In True, swimming in water is a sensual act, but Elsa is more comfortable with it than Eeva. Both Elsa and Eeva undress in front of Martti at different times. Elsa enters the water and “a pleasurable little whimper escaped her lips: the water was cold” (Pulkkinen, 87). The world “whimper” normally does not have positive connotations, but in this case it is described as “pleasurable,” implying she wanted the cold water and achieved her desire. This shows how Elsa is comfortable with her sensuality as she is not afraid to vocalize her needs and she has the ability to simply let go to achieve release. When Elsa goes swimming she is not doing it for Martti, she is doing it for herself as a dying wish. When Eeva swims in from of Martti, she states “the water’s cold. I keep going, not letting out a sound” (Pulkkinen, 120)...


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...to connect with the comfort he craves. Eeva embodies the idea of all-encompassing love because she loses herself in it. The physical mother allows her children to be free of her, where they are able to grow and find themselves. However, she is still nearby to offer support when truly needed. This is seen in how Eleonoora helps Anna out of the water and Nina’s care of Mikas reunites him with Sigita. Mikas is too young to strive without a mother-figure, but he is still able to find confidence in himself and Nina to say his name. Anna as an adult learns to know her mother which helps her regain her confidence and reveal her past to her boyfriend. She has learned that while history can help guide who a person is, it is not defining. Water provides protection from the world, but it is also a catalyst for transformation that leads to greater confidence and trust.

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