Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Electra by Sophocles is a play that revolves around the idea of revenge. Nearly all characters seek to right some wrong that was done on to them creating a cycle of hate and disgust. The basis of the story centers on Electra and her misery at the murder of her father Agamemnon. While her father being killed is a tragedy in itself, it’s amplified by the fact that his death was at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra and her new lover Aegisthus. Agamemnon’s surviving children must deal with the fact that their father, a great war hero, was cut down in such a cruel and backstabbing way. The children begin to plan to take out revenge on the pair of murderers for killing their father.
At the beginning of the play we learn that Electra had taken her younger brother Orestes and sent him away to escape the household of murderers while Electra and her younger sister Chrysothemis are left to the unfair treatment of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. Electra herself is treated as a slave in her own father’s household and kept inside the palace while Aegisthus is away and is forced to wear rags. While Chrysothemis is not treated as harshly, she lives suppressed by Clytemnestra and Aegisthus and believes it’s better to follow what they say than to create misery by speaking out.
Partway through the play we find out another reason for the murder of Agamemnon other than the fact that Clytemnestra had taken interest in a new man. Agamemnon had upset the goddess Athena and as a way to repay her and let her have her revenge, he had to sacrifice his young daughter. This action rightly upset his wife to where she sought revenge upon him. The cycle does not stop here though.
To get revenge on the people that murdered Agamemnon, Electra and Orestes come up with a plan. The plan begins with pretending that Orestes had died in a chariot accident. While their parents think he is dead, he will come to the palace acting as someone else. Once he gains access, they will take the first step of their plan by murdering their mother Clytemnestra. They will then wait until Aegisthus returns before executing their second step.
1. Is there any good to getting revenge?
2. Have you ever gotten revenge on someone? (Stories are nice!)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Darcy is a very wealthy man and falls in love with Elizabeth, whos family does not have a lot of money. Is it socially acceptable today for a very wealthy person to marry someone of a much lower social standing? Why or why not?
1. If you were in a loveless marriage like Anse, would you request separation even though it could affect your children's lives?
2. Even if there was no love in the relationship, would you attempt to fulfill a close one's dying wish?
3. What is more important in a relationship: love or respect?
Sunday, April 24, 2011
1. While the idea of a completely controlled population seems impossible, many critics believe that one day a society will exist wherein the government controls every move and thought of its people. How do you feel about this idea of a completely controlled population. If you were a citizen under the rule of Big Brother, would you follow the rules or would you, like Winston, risk your life in order to feel freedom of individuality?
Orlando: A Biography, written by Virginia Woolf in 1928, follows the life of a person named Orlando. The novel is not a true biography in the fact that the characters, events, places, and time span of over 300 years is fictional; however, is quite similar to the life of her lover, Vita Sackville-West, and others just given different names. Virginia’s personal, love life had taken a turn when she meet a woman named Vita Sackville-West, an aspiring author, wife, and mother. She never referred to herself or her friend, Vita, as homosexuals, but they soon fell in love. Vita was considered her partner in life, the person who really knew and understood her even better than anyone who had ever taken a part in her life. The novel is actually dedicated and written for Vita, who is Orlando in the novel. Orlando, the main character, is a man living in the 16th century. His first love is Queen Elizabeth who makes him of high status and stature as well as wealthy. They soon fall out of love as Orlando tries to find who he is. Orlando has various lovers spanning over 300 years and truly falls in love with a Russian princess. This princess is thought be be Vita's real-life lover. Eventually, Orlando is rejected and meets the archduchess Harriet, whom we find out later to be transgendered. Harriet had obviously made several advances toward Orlando, but was unfettered. He eventually moves away and one day becomes a woman. To the reader, he, or she now, is surprisingly O.K. with the change and begins to contemplate whether she prefers to be a man or a woman. Orlando, in woman form, meets the real Archduke Harry later on in life and debates marrying him. She realizes that he is too boring and unmoving for her liking and moves on. Orlando lives many more centuries figuring out who she, or he, really is. Eventually, Orlando transported to present day, at that time 1928, and thinks of her current love and of her writings. Seeing as Virginia and Vita Sackett-West had sexual relations while the book was first published, it is obvious, when the background of Virginia’s love life is known, that Virginia’s lover Vita had influenced the way Orlando was written and how the character, Orlando, had a love that did not differ between genders.
1. Does love truly differentiate between genders?
2. Do you think Orlando should be considered real non-fiction since it is a biography in the fact that it depicts the life of Vita Sacket-West only under a different name?
1. People in the New World believe in "sharing" each other, which explains why marriage is forbidden. How would our present day society view this belief?
2. The citizens of the New World believe life is just for their pleasure and happiness. They're conditioned to view death as just part of the life cycle, and know that another group of children could be developed in a short amount of time. The civilized people have no value for life. Do we have a deeper purpose than just living, and what do you value about life?
As Nelly tells the story, Lockwood records all the details in his diary. Nelly describes the life that she has witnessed since she has worked here and dealt with this particular family since she was young. She tells Lockwood about a woman named Catherine, whose father owned Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, and her brother, Hindley. Their father, who is away for some time, brings home a dark-skinned orphan, whom they deem Heathcliff. At first, Catherine and Hindley detest him, but surely enough, Catherine and Heathcliff begin to spend all their time together. Hindley especially hates Heathcliff due to the fact that his father likes him more. Mr. Earnshaw sends Hindley away due to this tension, therefore causing Hindley to hate Heathcliff even more. Soon after, Mr. Earnshaw dies.
The death of Mr. Earnshaw draws Hindley back to come take possession of their estate. He is now married and eventually has a son named Hareton. One night, Catherine and Heathcliff venture to Thrushcross Grange to spy on the Linton children, Isabella and Edgar. However, Catherine spends five weeks there due to an injury brought on by the Linton's dog. Heathcliff was forced to leave due to his rebellious nature. While at the Linton's, Catherine is transformed into a young lady. Once she returns home, Heathcliff is highly upset with the new Catherine. As they grow up, Catherine finds herself in love with Edgar, but more in love with Heathcliff. She chooses to marry Edgar, forever wounding the terrible-natured Heathcliff. Heathcliff eventually leaves for three years, and Hindley becomes a drunk who is very abusive to his son.
When Heathcliff returns, he marries Isabella Linton, even though Edgar disapproves. Soon after this, Catherine gives birth to a daughter, Catherine, and dies. Isabella is treated horribly by Heathcliff and eventually runs off to London, where she gives birth to their son, Linton. Isabella dies after about twelve years. Linton is brought back to Wuthering Heights where Heathcliff and Hareton live. Catherine still lives in Thrushcross Grange with Nelly and Edgar, who is dying. Catherine learns of her cousins, Hareton and Linton, and Heathcliff forces Catherine to marry Linton. Soon after they marry, Edgar dies. Linton was also very sick and he dies relatively quickly after Edgar does. Both of their deaths gives Heathcliff full control of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. This is the end of the flashback that Nelly was telling Lockwood.
Lockwood decides not to stay at Thrushcross Grange any longer and goes to tell Heathcliff of this. Lockwood eventually leaves and Heathcliff starts to go nuts. He can see the resemblence of Catherine in the young Catherine, as well as in Hareton. He eventually dies. Lockwood learns of this when he returns to talk to Nelly after a few months. He also learns that Catherine and Hareton are to be married soon.
1) Catherine (the mother) is torn between the love of two guys, Heathcliff and Edgar. She eventually marries Edgar even though she loves Heathcliff more because her brother, Hindley, detests Heathcliff and has degraded him. Have you ever had to make a tough decision or been influenced into something due to the thoughts of others? If so, why would you let them persuade you?
2) Heathcliff leaves for three years once Catherine marries Edgar. When he returns, he is a wealthy "gentleman." He becomes this way because of his love for Catherine. Have you ever done something out of love for someone, even if it pains you at first?
2) What is your opinion on the death penalty? Should it be legal in our country for certain crimes?