Personal Response to Homer’s Odyssey

What did you enjoy the most about The Odyssey, and why?

While reading The Odyssey, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed discovering Odysseus’ character. We see him through many perspectives which gives us insight on who he really is and the type of person Odysseus is. We read about his successes, his downfalls, his suffering and at last, his peace and how he came to finally being king again. Furthermore, seeing Odysseus’ hardships and how he adapted and persevered, made me like his character more. For example, looking back at the moment Odysseus’ men opened the bag of winds, Odysseus wanted to give up and stated “Should I go overside for a quick finish or clench my teeth and stay among the living?” After suffering so much Odysseus still kept going and showed utmost strength. This showed what kind of character Odysseus really was and showed his endurance and determination. I also enjoyed analyzing the book in class and getting the full picture. It allowed a more in depth analysis which led to a deeper understanding of The Odyssey.

 

What did you enjoy the least about The Odyssey, and why?

I did not enjoy the beginning of the book (around 1-3) where least action and adventure took place. It was more about assembling a crew/ship to find lost Odysseus and Telemachus going to the Red Haired King for advice. I find these parts less interesting because I found Odysseus’ adventures and stories throughout the middle and rest of the book to be most enjoyable and compelling to read. Additionally, during the first couple of books I was still unfamiliar with the characters which made me question many roles and their purpose in the book. 

 

What surprised you the most about The Odyssey?

What surprised me the most was definitely Odysseus’ adventures and the characters involved, as well as understanding how gods and mortals existed among each other, since I had not read anything like The Odyssey before. There were some concepts between gods and mortals that I had questioned. An example would be how the mortal characters would know a god that showed up in the form of a human was interacting with them? Like they just had a feeling and knew it was a god sending them a message in mortal form. The one eyed Kyklops, the witch “Kirke ”, the ship swallowing whirlpool “Charybdis’ ‘, and the sea monster “Scylla” were all characters that appeared in Odysseus’ adventures that surprised me and I did not expect those characters to appear. They all had interesting parts in the story and most created conflict and obstacles for Odysseus in returning to Ithaka.

Pastiches on Charles Dickens, “Great expectations”

Passage 1:
At such a time I knew for certain, that this laughter filled boat was a moment I wanted to remember; and that Alyssa Powell, happily taking film photos, and Brooke Gardner being captured in the photos were all smiling and joyous; and that Reina, Alex, Coen, Cameron, and Brandon, were intertwined in the moment conversing contently with one another; and that the sound of the swaying water beyond the boat, intersected with docks and sails, with the bright moon shining down at us, was Lake Cowichan; and that the bright scatter of glitter in the dark sky, were stars; and that even with the cool dusk air, the feeling of warmth, was happiness.

Passage 2:
A joyful girl, all in baby pink, with pigtails in her hair. A girl with butterfly clips, and with fuzzy slippers, and with a lollipop in her hand. A girl who was amazed by fairytales, and frightened by monsters, and confused with multiplication, and excited for Santa to come, and saddened when dropped off on her first day of school, and delighted by snacks; who sang, and played, and cried, and smiled; and whose world was lit up whenever she’d receive a hug from her mother.

Personal Response to Antigone

Who was the main character in the play Antigone? After reading the play, I believe the main character is Creon. The name of the play leads us to believe the protagonist is Antigone and that the story would be about her, but in my opinion, the main character was actually Creon. I think this because although a part of the story is about Antigone and how she handles the death of her brothers, most of the play is about the aftermath and reaction of Creon when Antigone doesn’t obey his rules. How he assesses the situation and the series of events that take place after make me conclude that he is the lead character. The play revolves around him, he is the king, the ruler, and to me Antigone is seen as the troublemaker, the person Creon has to deal with. At the end of the play after Antigone is taken away, Creon finds out about the death of his son and his wife. The play was always happening around Creon and what he was doing and it ended with the people closest to him dead. He was the play’s focus and core. Without the role of Creon in this play not much would happen as Creon was often the one creating conflict and emotion. You can see the conflict that Creon caused and the frustration of Antigone when she says,

“Hasn’t Creon graced one with all the rites, disgraced the other? Eteocles, they say, has been given full military honours, rightly so—Creon has laid him in the earth and he goes with glory down among the dead. But with the body of Polynices, who died miserably—why, a city-wide proclamation, rumour has it, forbids anyone to bury him, even mourn him. He’s left to be unwept, unburied, a lovely treasure for birds that scan the field and feast to their heart’s content.”

The conflict and emotion Creon produced throughout the whole play and his role as the play’s focus, leads me to believe that he is the true main character of the story. 

 

Oedipus the King – Personal Response

When reading the story Oedipus the King, my feelings and thoughts about this play were always changing. I felt confused or a bit lost at parts where I needed clarity (mostly when the chorus spoke), and I felt intrigued at parts where I was eager to find out how the character would respond to certain events. 

Oedipus, the main character in this story, was a character I had many different emotions towards. I did not like his character and personality because of his arrogance and the way he thought so highly of himself. He definitely had a superiority complex, which caused me to think he was just a self centered and pompous human being. Although arrogant, he did seem considerate and compassionate. He cared deeply for Jocasta and for the citizens of Thebes. He still was attentive to his wife/mother and seemed genuine towards her. Also at times, I did feel bad for Oedipus. I could imagine how devastated he would be when he finally put the puzzle pieces together, but this led me to want to continue on reading to see how he would behave when the truth was finally revealed that he was the murderer. 

I really enjoyed the irony in this story, Sophocles uses this irony to build tension because it makes the audience fully aware of what is going to occur, so they keep wanting to watch/read to find out what happens next. The audience wants to see how the characters will react. The effect of this irony was that it allowed me to have the sensation and satisfaction of already knowing how the story will unfold before the characters do. 

 

 

Summer Reading – Enough is Enough

In an article from a blog, “Enough is enough” by Laura Bates, she shines light on a major problem that every woman faces, sexism. She explains how many unacceptable things happen to women and how they are are now seen as such little instances; she also describes how little significance they now hold. She expresses how women today often look the other way and don’t complain, they’re often just expected to view it as nothing. She states how normalised it is and how every woman has a different experience/story when it comes to sexism. Bates talks about her website and different social media platforms where other women can share their stories. Girls as young as five years old were starting to worry about their appearances. Girls that young should not have to care that deeply about their physical appearance. But, especially now, teen girls are constantly being over-sexualized and put into stereotypes. Social media is impacting and making girls feel as if they need to look a certain way to be considered beautiful or that their worth and value is only about their appeal.

Bates message in the end is the importance of changing the mindsets of people. This makes me think of how important it is to raise awareness on this issue. People often brush it off or say “you’re overreacting” when in reality, it is a real issue.