journal eighteen

      In class, we read about the story of Oedipus, the guy who lived to kill his father, marry his mother and then gouge out his eye to be sent into exile. So was it actually possible for Oedipus to change his future or was it set in stone? Mr. MacKnight compared it to watching a movie. All Apollo does is watch the movie beforehand and then tell its outcome to the people. However, that implies that life is predetermined as movies can never change once it is set. Furthermore, who would’ve written the script out for the movie in the first place? If all the gods do is tell us our future, how do they know if it will change or not? Because as we are living, we make decisions that affect our future but if the gods could see through that, doesn’t that actually mean my life was predetermined as I was only given the allusion of choice? And what if I made an unexpected choice and changed my whole future?

     Another thing we talked about in class was how great literature is a mirror to ourselves. This is true because depending on my view of the world and my life right now, the way I interpret the meaning of the book changes. This is because in different stages of life, and in our different moods, we have different perspectives and this is reflected when we read. For example, if we take the ‘Animal Farm,’ it represents different things to different people. If you read it when you are young, it might just literally be a fictional story about a bunch of animals. However, if you read it when you are in high school, you could maybe see it as the pigs representing the teachers and principal whereas the other animals as students who need to work hard. I am curious though; if great literature is a mirror to ourselves, what happened to the author’s intended meaning/purpose?

Be the first to like.

2 comments to journal eighteen

  • Jane

    Would you agree that English class is starting to seem a little pointless if we are trying to find the author’s intended meaning, but can’t because all we see is what we want to see? You’re good mood is rubbing off on me:)

    • Mr. MacKnight

      If you are trying to find the author’s intended meaning, STOP! Great literature doesn’t send messages; it raises questions. Ask what the poem or play or story does to you. What does it make you feel? What does it make you think about? How does it do that? These are the important questions in literary criticism.

      The author’s intention, besides being unknowable even by the author, simply doesn’t matter. As E.M. Forster says, asking about the author’s motives, intentions, family background, etc., isn’t much more than gossip.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments