Author Archives: Jared

About Jared

Born and raised in AK and will once again live there one day. Currently serving in the US Navy and I enjoy the life I live. I am stationed in Sicily and loving the ability to travel during this period. I have a wife and a daughter on the way and couldn't imagine things going much better in life right now.

The Bible & Koran

1.  From the reading provided, there were not many differences that I could distinguish between the versions of Heaven and Hell in the Koran and Bible. The notable differences that I found were details. In the Bibical descriptions, there is Hell, an inferno, which is a place of punishment for the wicked and those who do not repent. There is not many references to the flames and seething waters that the Koran states repeatedly. The most diverse descriptions of Heaven came from the Koran. There are passages that state that boys of eternal youth, who drink pure nectar, serve you forever from goblets of silver. One will wear robes of silk, sitting on couches under the shade of trees with fruits, which hang in clusters surrounding them. One will receive ginger flavored water from the Fount of Salsabil. The Heaven described in the Bible is rarely described in any detail, other than being in the presence of God. The ideas of Heaven and Hell remain similar in purpose and destination, but the explicit imagery provided of each is definitively provided greater by the Koran.

2. As mentioned in the reading, Mark was written for a Gentile audience. The version focuses on details and locations, including the Roman  praetorium,  which is where Jesus was brought when he was condemned. Chronological events and symbolism play a major role in the pagan audience and the New Testament plays on this very well. The New Testament is actually written as a narrative, which identifies real places and people, in which events took place that influenced many. The symbolism like thunder crashing and the sky turning black during Jesus’ crucifixion are elements that would take place in any pagan legend and bring a dramatic effect to the story. Jesus could also be considered Heroic, in the way he defied the expectations of a mob and showed resiliency in the face of adversity and true pain and ultimately brings redemption and salvation to those who seek it.

3. Relations to God are changed dramatically with the New Testament and covenant. People’s fear is no longer the strongest emotion tying them to God, but love and compassion now play a more important factor, as it is now an obtainable relationship. What I mean by that, is that the man who has sinned for many years, but realizes the error of his ways is no long damned to torment and can now change his manifesto and come to know God and strive for that perfection. In the tales of the Iliad and Gilgamesh, gods are more like people with unique personalities and traits, which they govern. The relationships people had with these gods was distant, detached, and usually a form of worship. Sacrifices were made in honor of these gods, but something as simple as family relations would cause discrimination in the eyes of gods and gaining favor would be near impossible. These gods did not live by rules or expect humans to do so either as long as they were worshiped.


Madea & Job



1. Madea is a woman, but Euripides has presented her as a figure previously thought of as exclusively male- A hero. Analyze her character in the play with that of Achilles and conclude with a judgement on whether or not you think Madea is a hero and why.


At first, I had believed that Madea would be a hero, who represented a facet of society that had been misrepresented and given unfair roles in their culture. As a protagonist, Madea is sentenced to exile, after her husband takes the princess of Corinth as his bride. Not only has her heart been ripped out and her children with Jason have now lost a father, but she is sentence into exile because she is clever and apparently this is a poor and dangerous quality for a woman to have in this type of situation. I believed that Madea would bring a redeeming quality to women and justice in the balance of the storyline, but this is the point where her character goes astray and becomes the anti-hero. Like Achilles, her pride is damaged and she feels spited for she has given all for Jason, including the death of her brother and and scorn of her father. Achilles felt his honor had been stolen with the taking of his love Briseis, which is similar to the love of Jason being stolen by arranged marriage. Both of these situations played as the catalyst for these “hero’s” actions. As it plays out, Madea is willing to sacrifice her own children, in order to hurt Jason in a most discrete manner. This sacrifice is similar to that of Achilles praying for the Trojans to gain ground upon his fellow Greeks as revenge upon the honor of Agamemnon. Their spiteful nature and pride are the two most similar qualities that Madea and Achilles possess, but ultimately Achilles can be viewed as a hero of the Greeks, while Madea is seen as a mad woman, even by those close to her. Madea poisons the princess of Cornith, which spreads to her father and also causes him to perish in a violently horrifying manner and intends to murder her children to spite Jason. At one point, Madea is hesitant in murdering her children giving hope that she will snap out of her rage and redeem herself in some way. Madea states in lines 1031-1035, “Do not, O my heart, you must not do these things! Poor heart, let them go, have pity upon the children. If they live with you in Athens they will cheer you. No! By Hell’s avenging furies it shall not be,–” In this quote, Madea gives up her last sentiment of morals and ultimately takes the role of the anti-hero. I could not justify calling her a hero of any depiction, unless she was a hero of a masochist. I do believe that this could be where the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” may have come from.

2. Job makes the claim that his life has been virtuous and devoted to the worship of God and so he does not deserve the calamities that have befallen on him. He asks God for an answer, but the voice from the whirlwind does not deal with his question. Why does Job accept God’s assertion of divine power and not press for an answer to his question? Why is he satisfied with what he is given? Do you find the end of the dialogue satisfactory?

Job is awe struck that he even receives a response to his rant. He had only heard of God through “rumor” and is completely taken aback by the assertion of God’s power. God never does give a direct response as to why all of this undeserved grief fell upon Job, but through all the references that God makes to creation and his place vs. Job’s place in the world, the point is certainly made that Job had no right to question why. Job states that he will put his hand to his lips and not speak again, more fearful than ever that he would bring judgement upon himself. This challenge in itself, which Job had finally claimed publicly, with his visitors present, is pride for the ways that Job believes that he has lived. By the end of Gods depiction of reality and his directions, Job is satisfied with living and therefore no long needs justification for he has learned his place. After fulfilling God’s directions, Jobs prior assets are doubled and he is given new sons and daughters to replace what he has lost, which brings great fulfillment to Job. I found the end of the dialogue to be interesting because I believe that Job says something that many may say in the same situation, “I knew You, but only by rumor.”

Job Bible


Gilgamesh the Ornery Giant

1.  Gilgamesh is an ancient poem, which depicts the transformation of man who is considered to be two parts divine and one part human and begins his story with the temperament of a young boy. His story contains many stages correlating to Joseph Cambell’s structure for “The Hero’s Journey.” This does make sense, as this formula is based upon historical patterns and archetypes and “Gilgamesh” is one of the best preserved, yet evolutionary, stories of ancient history.

In the beginning, Gilgamesh parades through the town of Uruk and challenges young men to quarrels and takes women as he pleases. He can be restrained by none and is feared by many. As a king, he lacks maturity and humbleness. Gilgamesh’s “Call to Adventure” arrives with the coming of a man named Enkido, who challenges Gilgamesh for his atrocities and wrestles him in the streets. Although Gilgamesh wins, he admires Enkido’s spirit and strength and befriends him. The actual “Call” is Gilgamesh’s decision to seek out the monster, Humbuba, in the Cedar Forest or forest of the gods, in order to prove the strength of their friendship and his right to rule divinely.

Gilgamesh’s “Departure” takes place when he leaves Uruk with Enkido and they travel for many days to the Cedar forest, where no man has trodden, for Humbuba can hear any who pass through his forest and he carries with him seven glories. Gilgamesh receives “Supernatural Aid” against Humbuba, in the form of winds from all directions, at the hands of the god Shamash. This battle could also be considered “Crossing the first Threshold,” in “The Hero’s Journey.”

During the “Initiation” phase of Gilgamesh’s journey, he begins his “Road of Trials,” where he meets the “Woman as a Temptress,” Ishtar, a goddess who could give much, but has taken more from all of her previous lovers and is rejected by him. This scorns Ishtar and and she sends the Bull of Heaven upon him, which he defeats, but this victory also causes him to lose his friend Enkido, as he is smitten with disease from the gods. After the death of Enkido, Gilgamesh takes to the Steppe and eventually makes his way to a tunnel under a mountain, guarded by a massive scorpion, where he embarks upon his “Belly of the Whale” moment. He may or may not survive this quest for eternal life, but he moves under the world to find his answers and hopes to fulfill his desire for immortal life. He finds his way to Utanapishtim, who challenges Gilgamesh to stay awake for six days and seven nights, who then fell asleep immediately. This is his first successful lesson in being human and humble. After this failure, Utanapishtim gave Gilgamesh the location of a plant at the bottom of the sea, which could make him young again. Gilgamesh then persists to lose this plant to a serpent, a classical symbol for the loss of eternal life and happiness.

Gilgamesh makes his “Return” in the form of “The Freedom to Live.” He is not necessarily successful, in gaining immortal life to escape his fear of death, but he is successful in finding himself and is satisfied with living from this point on. He describes his city of Uruk, in a very similar fashion, as he did early in the story. The difference is the attitude he has towards the city and the people in it. He is happy to be a part of it and not the tragedy that terrorizes it, ultimately joining society and the humanity that he was born into.

2.  As the term would suggest, the “Mystical” or “Metaphysical” function of mythology is very prevalent in the story of Gilgamesh. Both he and Enkido acts as a beasts, as Gilgamesh  lusts and broods over those he wishes to and seems to have no moral dilemma or inner conflict over the issue. Gilgamesh is a man of the flesh and his instincts  during the initial phase of his story. Enkido is simply born of animals and is raised by them in the wild. The transition to a socialized man for Gilgamesh and Enkido also shows variations of the “Sociological” and “Psychological” functions. Enkido is brought into a world of understanding, by the harlot and the hunter, who show him many things that civilized people do in cooking, cleaning and wearing clothes. These folk ways were a form of socialization.

3.  I believe that Gilgamesh was successful in accepting his humanity, but failed to bring back a treasure that could have helped his people and gives up his quest after two small failures. If Gilgamesh was a king, why would he not go back to retrieve the plant after he had acquired the men and tools that were needed? Why would he give up on any great calling? Does this not show a theme that would suggest that to aim too high is unreasonable and so we should not push forward and to persevere above others who give up along the path?

A Hero’s Journey and the Four Functions

Discussion Question #1 Part 1

For my comparison to the Hero’s Journey, I have chosen “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. I felt that the films spent a great deal of time covering the transitions of Frodo, the main character, as he fulfilled his destiny as the hero of Middle Earth and the formula for “The Hero’s Journey” was applied well throughout the course of the story.Frodo

Frodo had many of the features that normally compose a hero described by Campbell’ formula. He had no known parents to speak of, he was male and a Hobbit (lowly birth) and he had no desire for wealth, fame or adventure. His intitial “Call to Adventure” came with the appearance of a ring, which was bestowed upon him to bear, by relation to the previous owner, Bilbo Baggins. This ring held the fate of Middle Earth and the inhabitants there of.
Frodo’s “Departure” of the story begins with his “Call to Adventure” and he must carry this ring a great distance to the Elves, in order to decide the fate of the ring. After some slight preparation, he leaves his “Threshold Guardian” Gandalf and joins with a few friends, which symbolized a few characteristics common to Hobbits that would bring challenges to Frodo, teaching him new aspects and giving him determination to complete his journey. Frodo’s “Supernatural Aid” comes through a variety of sources throughout the tale, but primarily it is the ring itself that works for and against him at all times through the journey.
“Initiation” comes to pass through many triumphs and some dis-heartening failures. The ring wraiths are constantly chasing Frodo across the land and almost take his life early in the adventure, but he survives at the help of an Elven Heir to Rivendel. This would normally strike such fear into a hobbit, but during a meeting of races Frodo views the ring for what it has done in history and how it tares apart those who desire the power of the ring with the greed in their hearts. This quality of Frodo, this selflessness, is the inherent strength of his people and the key to his determination and ultimate success in the story, which is why he steps forward and offers to carry the ring to the firey halls of Mordor. The “Ulitimate Boon” of courageous selflessness was shown by Gandalf early in the story in his refusal to take the ring for himself or to try and conceal it, knowing that the ring could corrupt even the heart of a powerful wizard. Throughout the story he shows courage and the sacrifice of his life at the hands of a Balrog, but is renewed a life as a white wizard, even more powerful than before because of the power that lied within his own heart. Frodo grows to gain this same characteristic throughout the story and stands up to those that would destroy all, giving up his own safety, freedom and the ring as it is dropped into the volcanoe of Mordor.
The “Return” of Frodo takes the form of a “Refusal of the return.” Frodo feels disconnected and segregates himself indoors often. Longing for the adventures of his previous trials and after all that he has learned, he no long keeps the inherent characteristics of a normal Hobbit. He chooses to withdraw, from the society that he was raised, to Forbidden Isle of the Elves, where no one is to ever return.

Discussion Question #1 Part 2

There seems to be a great disconnect between the cinema of today and and the needs of the four functions of mythology. A lot of focus is placed on the fourth function, that of the psychology, which does drive a story to have some interesting twist or aspect of introverted thought or perversion through our society (the third function). Many of the movies are created with such a theme or idea, that people can not relate to them, but only see them from the oustide and pass judgement, based upon prior experience. Many films avoid the first function, the mystical or metaphysical function, entirely in order to keep the content light. In the beginning of many films, the main characters feel set apart from society, which may appear to be an unaccepting barrier or organism and they are unable to fit in, but through the story many find themselves accepted by the whole or rejected completely for their rebellious view of society. Most films do have a general lesson to be learned, whether it is simlply teamwork, trust, or courage, which would fulfill the need of a transition in psychology. Movies can meet the needs of the four mythological functions, but few provide all of them in a single film, mostly due to the regurgitation of messages, short attention spans of the audience, focus on emotional or physical desires, or crude humor and lack of content.

Will Farrel

Glad to meet you!


My name is John, but I have always gone by Jared. I am looking forward to this class with all of you. This is actually my first online course and I am hoping that it is successful. I am from Fairbanks, but have been serving in the Navy for almost 6 years and I am now working to complete my Associates in Science.

When I joined the Navy in early ’09, I had plenty of credits in the ME program, but there was no AS offered at UAF and I was left with a lot of experience, but no certificate. Now that I have re-applied for UAF, I have found that this is the last class I need to complete an AS and I am SO EXCITED! I was also stoked to find out that the course I would be taking is World Literature because I am an avid reader. I enjoy reading every night before bed. I find it relaxes me and often brings pleasant dreams.

I hope to find great enjoyment in the reading assignments throughout the semester, which bring me propositions of great pondering and thematic collusion between writers of many eras. From the short list that I have viewed thus far, I am grateful that I will be reading some stories or epics that I had wanted or intended to read at one time, but will now be getting credit for doing so. I hope to expand my concept of common themes that bind humanity in morals that have spanned great lengths of time and bring us all to this point, where creativity is only limited by having no desire to seek it.