The play Antigone

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The play Antigone

This play is primarily about the death of two brothers and the struggle between their sister and the current ruler on where they should be buried. King Creon unilaterally decides that one brother will be honored with a decent burial while the other will be treated as an outcast. Antigone is the sister who rebelliously wants to bury Polyneices, an action in disobedience to the king’s orders. She seeks her sister’s help but that assistance is declined (Lee 43). However, she goes ahead with her plan. Creon, the dictator, is informed of her actions and ruthlessly calls for her death. Haemon, Creon’s son, who is in love with Antigone, tries to support her actions but to no avail. Nevertheless, a council of elders named the Chorus prevails upon Creon to release Antigone and to have Polyneices buried so as not to offend the gods. Unfortunately, they quickly learn that Antigone, Haemon and Antigone’s sister Ismene have committed suicide. Even Creon’s wife kills herself. This leaves a devastated Creon regretting his decisions.

There is an element of civil disobedience since Creon demands that all his orders, whether wrong or right, to be followed. In contrast, Antigone insists that laws can be amended and that no one is above them. In addition, there is a vivid lack of reference to the gods in this play. Consequently, the tragedies that occur can be understood to have happened due to the lack of divine intervention. Possibly, the brothers’ abandonment of the gods could have triggered their death in the war.

Similarly, a theme emerges of how the state tries to control everything about an individual’s life. For example, Antigone is cautioned against burying her own brother yet she views that as an infringement on her rights. Such actions evidently portray the dictatorial nature of Creon thereby justifying the reason as to why he is disliked by a majority of his subjects (Lee 74). Furthermore, the role of the gods is well articulated in this play. Although the Chorus is not forthright in giving their advice, Sophocles shows that the will of the gods is supreme. Thus, Creon is forced to change his mind to avoid the wrath from the gods on his territory, Theba.

A theme of loyalty is also pursued in the character of Haemon. He is depicted as being loyal to both the gods and to Antigone. Likewise, he is devoted to his father, Creon. All these loyalties clash so now he has to make a decision. As much as he wants to be obedient to his father Creon, he too would like to do the right thing. Actually, he does not want to be seen as supporting an injustice. Equally, Antigone is mixed up in a continuous conflict in which she is trying to redeem her family from past mistakes by burying her brother. At the same time, she is hopeless and full of sadness due to her impending death (Lee 17). This means that she is struggling with morality issues and this takes a huge toll on her. Unfortunately, the environment around her is unforgiving yet flashbacks of her sinful past keep tormenting her. At some point, she feels like she is paying for all her past transgressions. All these emotions and actions increase the intensity and suspension of the play hence raising its dramatic effect. Overally, it is a brilliant play.

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Jacobus, Lee. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama, Sixth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. Print.

Body Cartography Project

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Body Cartography Project

The performance was impressive and very energetic. The use of the stage was superb as the different artists danced around in unique, captivating styles. The different techniques on display were somehow different with the intensity of each dance style varying although they seemed to convey a message of creativity that occasionally meshed through a few synchronized choreographies. However, the dances followed the rhythm of the music and this managed to engage the audience because each performer was exploring different themes according to his/her inspirations. Much of the body language exhibited an intense passion for something specific and this added to the suspense element of the entire show.

The jumps were equally daring and at times appeared dangerous but since they were done gracefully, they proved exciting to watch especially during the solo performance. In addition, there were instances when the presentation became emotional and this was particularly visible from the film. In those moments, their movements were a bit slower and their gazes more intense thereby leaving the viewers to be fixated on the body motions. Furthermore, since they would suddenly break into dance, the tempo would rise and so would the interest in the dance routine. The costumes too added a different dynamic to the show. The brightly colored ones were very attractive and this served to capture the viewer’s attention for a much longer time. Moreover, some of the dance moves made the dancers look as though they were in a trance. Consequently, it was as if they were either communicating with a supernatural force or reliving their past and this generated a lot of curiosity. Therefore, the whole act was amazing and stimulated diverse emotions in an interesting way. The artists were also passionate.

Narrative Essay

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Narrative Essay

It is often thought that homeless people cannot be beneficial to other members of the society. I was not an exception. Furthermore, it was my view that such people who live on the streets belong in homeless shelters and thus need to be immediately wiped out and placed in these facilities for the rest of their lives. Usually, I considered it an eyesore whenever I spotted some of them especially since a few were situated in my neighborhood. Nevertheless, I always had something to eat that I offered them on my way to and from work. A foul smell emanated from their sleeping lair while they wore tattered clothes that barely covered their frail bodies. Amazingly, they were able to brave the cold weather during the nights, but they could be seen huddling around a fireplace every morning. Even though I had a disdain for them, I never showed it outrightly.

Late one Friday evening, I drove by the same road that I had constantly used when heading home from my workplace. As usual, I slowed down close enough to hand them a pack of fruits from some of the grocery shopping in the car and headed straight home. The darkness outside was eerie, and a slight wind billowed from side to side as I approached my driveway. It had been a tiresome day, so all I could think about was having dinner and enjoying a good night’s sleep. Little did I know that I would stay awake for almost the entire night. The car ground to a halt and I stepped out hurriedly. Bolting to the door, I embraced my wife who had stood at the porch to welcome me home, and we quickly settled for dinner with our children. After catching up on the day’s activities with them, they went to sleep. Then we retreated to our room for what we thought would be a good night. It was hardly 1:00 AM when I was woken up by a loud bang on my bedroom door. Though I could not see through the pitch darkness, I could hear the door slam down hard on the floor and splinter into several pieces. Almost momentarily, my wife woke up as I groped the walls looking for the light switch. Suddenly, a heavy hand grasped my throat and violently threw me back onto the bed. Having landed on my back, I began to writhe in pain and unexpectedly, the lights went on. The illumination from the chandelier was so bright that it blurred my vision although I could make out two to three men in the room. I could also hear my wife screaming. Shortly thereafter, we were dragged downstairs, unaware of what would happen next.

It was terrifying to see our children, with hands tied behind their backs crying for help yet I knew that I was powerless. We were bound with masking tape and placed in one corner of the living room as our attackers ransacked the entire house. Actually, we stared in disbelief as the phone cable was cut signifying our excommunication from any form of outside help. Similarly, they brandished guns openly while their perceived leader walked briskly around the room intimidatingly. Surprisingly, they rummaged through the dustbin and this was quite perturbing. With the whole house in a total mess and having not found what they were looking for, they menacingly approached me and only said one word ,“stocks”. I stared blankly in his face, puzzled by his question but he furiously punched me in the face and threatened to shoot me.

I was devastated to see my family under such immense pressure and siege. The pain from the battering that we had received had not subsided yet there was a constant threat of more force from our assailants. It became clear that they did not want any money or jewellery-all they wanted was my share of stock options in the  company. I replied in the negative and that enraged them. Truthfully, the stock certificates were located in a safe deposit box in one of the commercial banks hence the only way out was for them to accompany me the following day. Therefore, they kept pacing up and down as the leader made frantic phone calls asking for permission to eliminate us. At that point, I tried to say a silent prayer but in vain. So far, the ending of our ordeal seemed ominous and any minute from then, we knew that the worst could happen since we had all been blindfolded. I made a point of telling my family how much I loved them. We were all led to separate rooms and I recall being bundled into the attic. The door was shut and except for my whining, there was no iota of noise from either my room or the adjacent one. After what seemed an eternity, I heard a fierce confrontation downstairs. Crawling to the direction of the door, I heard gunshots and cringed. It was a confusing moment since no one could tell whether the attackers were turning against each other or more scarily, executing members of my family. Thus, this thought alone sent shivers down my spine as well as made me breathe rapidly in short  throbs as I gasped for air. More shots could be heard and that heightened the fear in me. Moreover, there was a palpable tension in the air because I was resigned to my fate.

When the attic was forcefully opened, I heard someone shout “police” before I was gently pulled from my hiding place and escorted downstairs. Upon being removed the blindfold, a swarm of police officers were everywhere around the house. Elatedly, I ran to my family and hugged them tightly as tears rolled down my face. Clearly, we were happy to have survived what could be considered a nightmarish night. As some of the law enforcement officials processed the crime scene, others debriefed my family and that is when I got to know about Jackson. Standing in the doorway was one of the homeless men whom  I had interacted with on a daily basis. Even though the mood was somber, I could not help but smile at the heroic deed he had done. He had heard the screams from the house. Amazingly, he had run across the street in search of any nearby patrol car and swiftly informed them of vantage points for a stake out. Consequently, the officers on duty had requested for reinforcements from a special tactical team capable of handling hostage situations. Luckily, we were able to be rescued without any serious injuries. Henceforth, I changed my perception of homeless people. I began to recognize that they too were valuable members of the society who could be relied upon for programs such as the neighborhood watch. As a result, I had a conviction that the stereotypes about them are unfair and inhuman. Therefore, the profound lesson I learnt is that homeless people are also human and besides their circumstances, they can make the difference between an individual’s life or death.

 

 

Cult Fiction Novel

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Cult Fiction Novel

Cult fiction is the nature of a story to captivate a large audience, thus developing a legion of loyal fans that are always eager to get a copy of an author’s latest publication. This fascination is not limited to the storyline, but also the author. Sometimes, this is due to the narrative writing style used by the novelist. At other times, readers are attracted to the different characters in the books and their escapades. Interestingly, fans that follow the storyline in these fiction novels are often enthusiastic to get their hands on the current publications. Thus, they go to great lengths to acquire information or material that would offer insights about the story. The Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk is one such book that has attracted a religious following especially after the release of the film adaptation. Both young and old people have come to be fans of this very graphic book.

The story of one character with double personalities is what makes this book very fascinating. This is because it contains many scenes where the same person commits crimes but under different names (Palahniuk 28). This puzzles the readers as they are kept guessing who the culprit is. Sometimes they find that their predictions are wrong. It is the author’s way of creating suspense in the novel. This anxiety makes the reader eager to read the book further to find out the answer to this mystery. Furthermore, the plot has several instances of violence, which resonate well with a majority of the young population (Koenig 1). In particular, the episodes where men always meet in a club for bare-knuckled fights are very raw and quite intriguing. The techniques discussed almost immerse the reader in the text and makes him/her part of the real audience. That draws excitement, as well as sympathy whenever the battles turn fatal. It is a deliberate action on the author’s part to play around with the reader’s emotions in order to coerce him/her to build a connection to the main character, Tyler Durden. Once the reader is hooked, the desire to read the whole story is unstoppable.

In addition, the story is given by a narrator who happens to be one side of the double personalities of Tyler (Palahniuk 143). It thus offers the reader the chance of witnessing encounters from a firsthand account’s perspective. The descriptions are vivid like the romantic liaisons between Tyler and Marla. Such discussions are appealing and keep the reader glued to the book since they generate an emotional rollercoaster. The anger that Tyler has when he finds out that he has two personalities trapped in one body is so palpable that the reader feels like a part of the plot. This makes him/her to join the cause that pits good versus evil. This magnetic pull of the text draws many people to this novel, and it comes as no surprise that millions more are anxiously waiting to read the sequel.

The story is written in a simple and concise language hence making it understandable to many people. As the plot advances, the fights get more personal, the romance is more heated, and the discovery the narrator draws closer. This makes the novel enjoyable to people who have read the story from the beginning. It, therefore, forces people with no prior knowledge about it to start reading from the first page in a bid to catch up with the rest and this helps to grow the Fight Club’s fan base. The theme of dry humor explored in the storyline helps to keep the momentum going. This is a clever ploy by the author to satisfy the curiosity of many readers, as he is aware that many people would like to laugh at various points in a story.

Chuck Palahniuk was born on February 21, 1962. His early life was marred by tragedies such as the deaths of his mother from cancer and growing up in abject poverty (Koenig 1). He tried different jobs to make a living but settled on journalism and later into writing novels. He recently became a controversial figure when he admitted that he is gay. Such sentiments are bound to attract a national audience, which in turn leads to a scrutiny of his background. Those who support his ideas are bound to be interested in his works thereby reading this book. He tends to generate excitement wherever he goes, and this sensation draws more loyalty from his fans. Likewise, his critics dig his books to look for errors in judgment, but come up short. This makes him more confident in public and articulate about the different issues tackled in the Fight Club thereby creating more suspense. His revelations of a film adaptation and sequel ignited debate about this novel, which prompted many people to flock to bookstores and sample the book. This has led to an increase in the size of readership thereby propelling it into cult fiction status.

 

 

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Works Cited

Koenig, John. “Fighting for ‘Fight Club’.” Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2000. Web. 20 March 2014. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/24/entertainment/ca-44242

Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1996. Print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Conflicts in Warfare

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Conflicts in Warfare

Sonny Blues by James Baldin

James Baldin paints a conflicting picture of Sonny in the story Sonny’s Blues. It appears that Sonny is constantly trying to prove his worth yet the people that he addresses do not seem to believe in him. As a result, he struggles to change the perception that people have about him, but it becomes difficult. Unfortunately, he has a drug addiction problem, which makes him even more furious because he cannot seem to do without it yet he desperately wants to change and cultivate a serious persona. He exudes confidence and happiness while in public but privately, he is suffering from depression. That is why he does not want anyone to know the reality of his lifestyle. The sadness caused by his depression is something that consumes much of his time due to the stress that arises from knowing that he is despised. Sadly, he keeps slipping in and out of this depression, and not even his brother is enthusiastic to assist him from being addicted to heroin.

Oedipus Rex

The violence in this work is very intense and it is mainly about supremacy battles aimed at becoming king of the Theban kingdom. Though Oedipus is the heir to his father’s kingdom, he initially runs away after a disagreement with his parents. Despite his lack of interest in the position of being crowned king, he secretly aspires to be one. Consequently, he has an altercation with a group of men in the course of his journey and after a brief scuffle, he ends up killing his own father. This is a clear indication of the identity crisis in their family. Oedipus’ prophesy that he would marry his mother, which seemed impossible in the beginning, is fulfilled thereby exposing the conflict between his paternity and ambitions for being a ruler. Therefore, there is a contest between the fulfillment of the prophecy and his perception of future events. This competition makes him behave in an irrational manner with a lot of blood being shed as he tries to eliminate his enemies in his quest to succeed his father.

War Is Kind by Stephen Crane

There is an overriding conflict between good and evil in this poem. Whereas the reader is exposed to the training that men and women undergo before a war, the ugly consequences of warfare are equally revealed. The writer mentions superb skills that the fighters possess, and there is a feeling that their military exercises are meant to deter enemies from engaging in battle. However, the exact opposite occurs and the ensuing fight leaves almost one thousand people dead. The title can be deceiving since one might think that war is something to celebrate. Nevertheless, it becomes clear that it is sarcastic since war leads to confrontations that can turn deadly.

Dulce ET Decorum Est. by Wilfred Owen

Surprisingly, the title of this poem refers to the fact that it is sweet for someone to die for his/her country. That is a misleading notion because the dangers of war are real and soldiers pay with their lives. It is inconceivable then to glorify death, especially when the reason for going to war is not noble. Similarly, the writer says that the soldiers had distant rest. That could either mean a relaxation in a camp after a long and tiresome day or death. It is a reflection on the joy of life and the pain of death as the reader is briefed on the advent of chemical weapons during conflicts. Additionally, it sends a warning to potential recruits not to be deceived into thinking that the life of a soldier is glamorous. Instead, it shows that the life of a marine is cruel, and a person might loose his/her life easily.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Love is one antagonistic theme present in these short stories. It is primarily experienced by Cross, the platoon leader of American soldiers in Vietnam in which he is torn between his love for his country and the feeling of abandoning other soldiers so as to be with his girlfriend. In addition, one would expect that wartime conditions of stress and fatigue would strain relationships between soldiers. On the contrary, such pressures in fact strengthen the bond between Strunk and Jensen as they realize that they have to depend on one another for survival. Furthermore, O’Brien and other soldiers vow to talk about dead comrades in order to keep their memories alive. Even though such actions tend to provide them with comfort, the reality is that the dead have departed from their midst. Hence, the debate of mortality continues. There is also a battle for honesty in the story since the author admits that he did not kill the man who died outside his Khe. Rather, he only watched him die but wanted to seek sympathy from the reader. Thus, this exaggeration raises the suspense in the stories and brings to the fore the different underlying conflicts in the plot.