Author Archives: jtodd

Discussion Question 5: The New Testament; The Koran

Discussion Question 5

heaven hell


Heaven in the Christian, Judaism and Islamic religions is a place of spiritual pleasure. They all agree that heaven is a place where we will be reconnected with our loved ones who have passed on before us. The main difference I find in the Islamic religion is the levels of heaven. There are 500 levels in the Islamic heaven while there seems to be only one in the Christian and Judaism religions. All three religions have similar descriptions of hell, with the fire and brimstone. But again like the levels of heaven the Islamic religion believes hell has seven levels.

I find the biggest difference in the three religions in the way people get to heaven or hell. The Jews and Christians believe that if you have repented of your sins and believe in God that you will go to heaven. While the Islamic’ s   do not believe that faith in God alone is enough to get you into heaven. Being a Muslim in of itself is not enough you have to have true faith and life a live filled with good actions. When you die your actions will be weighed to see if you have done more good than bad actions in your life.


Pagan audiences were used to tales of gods and demi-gods. They had listened to countless stories of the gods procreating with humans and having children with great powers. So the fact that Jesus was born of a virgin impregnated by God was something they could relate to from other stories. The Star of David and the magi also parallel with elements from Greek and Roman mythology. Being born in a stable was like of the birth of Horus in the stable of Isis, the Virgin Goddess.  Many myths also contained human sacrifice so Jesus dying on the cross for our sins was just another form of human sacrifice. Just like Attis being nailed to a tree and the annual sacrifices to Zeus.


When Jesus said God rejoiced over a repented sinner God suddenly became a more loving and merciful being. Suddenly God became a higher being that was worthy of devotion. God was benevolent and caring towards humans. This God differs from the Gods in Gilgamesh and the Iliad. The Gods in these stories showed many humanly qualities that were negative in nature and they were very selfish. They would use humans as pawns in their own little games. People worshiped them out of fear, they didn’t want to bring the wraith of the Gods down upon themselves.

Discussion Medea and Job

Discussion Question 4

  1. Medea shares the same prideful nature as does Achilles. The both allow their feelings of hurt pride play a major part in their decision making and this makes their decisions flawed. They are both acting out of anger and only want revenge for their hurts. They fail to take into account anyone else; they are so focused on hurting who they are mad at. They do not care who gets hurt in the process even if it is themselves. Medea and Achilles both use manipulation of others to get what they want. Achilles does this then he uses his mother’s love for him to have her ask Zeus to help the Trojans defeat the Greeks. Medea uses manipulation when she uses her husband’s love for his children to ask him to deliver presents to his new wife.

I do not believe that Medea is a hero. A hero’s acts in some way benefit others. Even if Achilles reasoning behind fighting was selfish he was fighting wars that would benefit a group of people. While helping her husband escape she did some deeds that appeared heroic I still can’t say she was a hero because her actions in the end are what she is remembered for. No one benefited from Medea’s actions, not even herself; Medea seems to be a totally selfish angry person who destroyed others in order to cause pain and suffering.

  1. The simple answer for why Job accepted God’s assertion of divine power is faith. Job believed in God and had faith that whatever God chose to happen to Job was as it should be. Looking a bit deeper we see that through all the things God said Job came to see that understanding God was beyond man’s ability. So Job relied upon his faith and acknowledged that he had spoken about things he knew nothing of. Because Job was able to trust in God so much he was satisfied with what God had spoken. I myself have a problem with the ending of the dialogue; probably because I do not have as much faith as Job has and am not able to just accept what I do not understand.

Discussion 3- The Iliad

Discussion Questions- The Iliad

achilles hector by rubens


Achilles defeats Hector  by Peter  Paul Rubens


Hector and Achilles were two very different men who happened to be great warriors.  Hector fought for his people and for Troy, he was more selfless and compassionate.  Hector longed for peace but fought because he understood that the war was something he could not avoid. He was a brave but reluctant warrior who was respected by his people. His troops followed him into battle because they knew he was fighting for freedom and that he deeply cared for all the people of Troy. His troops fought for him because they respected his skills and the person he was inside. Hector was more approachable and was respected on human level.

Achilles was more of an egotistical, arrogant person and fights for his own glory. His fighting skills are great and his army follows him because they are in awe of him. His skill in battle would boost the morale of the troops. They respected his fighting skills but not the person he is inside. Achilles seemed to place himself above his troops and was not approachable. He was to be admired from a distance.

Along with the differences Hector and Achilles also shared some similar traits. Although Hector is more selfless and fights for a more noble reason then Achilles one similarity is the pride they both show. Hector shows his pride by refusing to back down and take his troops back in the Trojan walls, while Achilles lets his pride get the better of him when he refuses to help Agamemnon.


Priam asking Achilles for Hector’s Body  by Alexander Ivanov


I believe that seeing Priam’s suffering over the loss of his son opened up Achilles to be able to see his own humanity. Achilles was able to see beyond his anger and rage and realize that everyone who had lost someone in the war was going through the same pain and anger. He also was able to be more compassionate when he thought about the pain and suffering his father was soon endure. Achilles’ ability to see this and have compassion for Priam lets us know that inside us all we have the same capacity to feel the sorrow and pain war and death causes.


I do not believe that the Warrior Code and the Familial Code are mutually exclusive. Many times the Familial Code is actually upheld by the Warrior Code. In the Familial code you must make sure that your family is taken care of and in some instances this means protecting their way of life, their lands, and their community. In order to ensure this is done many men have to live by the Warrior Code of honor and victory.

Discussion Gilgamesh

Discussion- Gilgamesh

  1. When reading Gilgamesh I was able to identify several stages of the Hero’s Journey. Endiku’s call to action was the very reason for his existence- he was to hep Gilgamesh become a better person. Which is ironic considering Endiku was half beast and Gilgamesh was 3/4 God. Enkidu’s death was a call to action for Gilgamesh and the hard time Gilgamesh had letting go of Enkidu’s body was a symbol of his refusal to move forward with his call to action. There were also many trials that Gilgamesh encountered on his journey to find immortality. Gilgamesh’s revelation that physical death is inevitable but what deeds he does now can keep his memory alive. In the end he returns home a better person.
  2. I believe that the four functions of Mythology are very much a part of the story of Gilgamesh. The story is not about where Gilgamesh goes but what he learns about himself and life on the way. It also shows us the greatness and also the terribleness that are in our universe. We are exposed to mythical beast as well as beautiful scenes of nature. The very boon that Gilgamesh finally obtains is a lesson to us all in how we should life our lives and shows us how we affect everyone and everything else in nature. So this story deals with the very awe of the world, it has explanations of how things came to be as they are known to us, and it shows us who we should be.
  3. I believe that Gilgamesh’s journey was a very successful one. He may not have returned with the Plant of Everlasting Life but he returned with the knowledge that his deeds can keep his memory alive. Even though he did not succeed in gaining eternal youth he earned a far greater prize, the ability to make a difference. Through his efforts he made his world a better place and in return he was immortalized in stories.

Hero’s Journey Discussion Questions


When I first read this assignment I was concerned. As the mother to pre-school age children I have not watched a “real’ adult movie in I don’t know how long.  After recovering from my momentary panic, I realized that many of the Disney and children’s movies I have recently watched use the hero’s journey pattern. The Lion King, Mulan, Aladdin, and even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all use the hero’s journey as a basic outline.

One of the Disney films that I believe did an excellent job following the hero’s journey pattern The Lion King. This movie contained many of the elements Joseph Campbell defined in his definition of a Hero’s Journey. Some of the elements may step outside the traditional pattern but in the end they all intertwine to make a cohesive hero’s journey that follows the pattern. I believe that the twists in the patterns keep people interested and thinking. One element that seems to be outside the tradition norm is the appearance of the mentor. Rafiki seems to fit this mold but I also see Timon and Pumba as mentors in Simba’s journey. They all guided him in his growth and learning about himself.

tp and s rafiki

I almost thought the call to adventure was after Simba had grown up and was asked by Nala to return to help the pride. But, after some thought I believe that he was actually called upon to act like a future king by his father and he ignored this call to remain a carefree cub. His believe that he caused his father’s death and subsequent self-exile is typical of the belly of the whale where the hero is “swallowed into the unknown’. Confronting his father’s spirit and coming to terms with life and his place in it sets him on the path home with the ultimate boon-the fulfillment of his destiny, which is to be the  king of the pride.


Some current cinema meets our needs as based upon the four functions of mythology where others fall short. The first of the four functions is the mystical. There are movies that provide us the need to experience the mystery of our existence. The awe at what is. Another function is the need to know where about the universe and what our place is in it. This need is meet by some movies that explore creation and also test the limits of what is known of science and where this knowledge is going. Exploring these ideas can make up think about what part we play in our world and what the ramifications of our actions can be.

The third function of mythology is that of social function. Movies can promote what we see as right and wrong. The basic good versus evil movies help ingrain what behavior is acceptable in a society. Movies also help show us how we should behave and what we should be doing at various stages of life. Movies that are true to what original stories and myths were can provide us information that makes us think and helps us determine who we are, why we are, and what the appropriate behaviors are.. This all being said there are many movies out there that are simply entertainment and provide no basis for us to think and learn from. I think that there are so many movies and entertainment sources out there we have become numb to what the purpose of stories was originally for.

Introducing Me

Hi everyone! My name is Jacqueline but everyone calls me Jacque. I am currently working on my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I am required to take some English classes for my degree, so that is why you find me here. This class appealed to me because it encompasses work from different cultures and I have alwasy been interested in learning about cultures that differ from my own. I hope to gain a better understanding of literature from around the world and how their cultures influence their writing.

While taking classes at UAF I also work full time and am a mom to three wonderful boys. I have turned into a soccor mom and spend a lot of time carting kids around to practices and games.  To make my life work I have had to become super organized and  learn to juggle three or four things at one time. Raising my boys is the most rewarding and exhausting experience I could ever have.

j and boys  My Family