- What do you believe the demon symbolizes in The Story of the Fisherman and the Demon? What allegories do you read in this story?
This story starts off by explaining the present life of an old fisherman. He was married with three daughters. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any money. They didn’t even have enough money for food. The fisherman went to a nearby water hole where he would cast his net four times every day. On this one particular day, he was determined to catch something. Each cast brings him nothing, but he recites a verse after opening the net. Finally, on the fourth cast, he catches a very heavy jar! He was very happy! He was plotting different ways to take it to the copper market. He decided to remove the stopper and shake out of the contents. In doing this, nothing came out. Eventually, smoke began to come out of it and spread everywhere. There, in front of him stood a demon. The demon wanted to know how the fisherman wanted to die. The fisherman gave him his life story and the demon changed his mind. He decided to grant him the wish of making him a rich fisherman to help out his family!
I think that he demon symbolizing all of the fisherman’s doubts. When the fisherman couldn’t catch any fish, he was feeling defeated. When he finally caught the demon, he had to convince him that his life did matter. The demon gave in and helped him, which helped his family greatly!
In this story, I thought that the demon was the perfect example of an allegory. I’ve always been told to “face my fears’ and this story kind of showed that. The fisherman was in a terrible situation then faced his demon. He conquered him and ended up with a very happy ending.
Is Felicite a saint or a simple-minded servant? Or is she both? Or is she neither? Outline your perspective of her character as compared to Mme. Aubain’s. How do they differ?
According to Webster, a saint is an individual who is holy or virtuous and typically regarded as being in heaven after death. From what I read, I wouldn’t consider Felicite or Madame Aubain as a “saint.’ Both of them had such a loving heart! I would characterize Felicite as partially simple-minded, for the simple fact that she completely devoted herself to a parrot. Whatever was thrown her way, she overcame it and attached herself to the bird. On the other hand, Madame Aubain didn’t attach herself to any type of animal, even after she had been through the worst of life.
How are women imagined and characterized in the poems you read? What attitude is implied? Is it dual or contradictory? Does Baudelaire give similar weight to the description of men? What definitions of womanliness are depicted, affirmed, or criticized in his work?
From these poems, I have taken that Baudelaire doesn’t believe that women are capable of doing what a man can do. He belittles women. The poems are so negative! I’m just not sure where his strong dislike for women stems from. He believes that men should be at the top of the totem pole and they could be even higher if it wasn’t for a women holding them down.
How are Chidam and Chandara distinct from Rama and Sita?
Chidam and Chandara are more about fulfilling what they want before anything. They seem to only want what is best for them, even if it means risking a relationship with another individual. Rama and Sita seem to be more of the “helpful’ couple. They always try to do what’s best, even if it isn’t something that they want.
Pick a Yeat’s poem and discuss what it communicates to you and why.
I really enjoyed Yeat’s poem, When You Are Old. Basically, it was saying that when you get older, there’s a certain book that can be read to help you remember your younger days. It will show those who loved our beauty and the one man that loved you. When we grow older, we can’t forget about our past. It happened for a reason. When we are feeling down, we can look back on our past and it will bring us back to the person we once were.
What do you think Dante learned on his journey through Hell? How does it differ from what you learned while reading about the journey?
I think that Dante was able to reevaluate his life. He didn’t want to end up in one of the levels of hell. He was able to refocus on his life and what matters the most to him. If he did not change the way he was living, he was going to end up going somewhere that he did not want to go. He was basically given a second chance. It doesn’t really differ from what I learned while reading about the journey. The basis of both was the same to me.
- Every epic work defines heroism differently, and many heroes are great of stature without being moral paragons. As the headnote to the Ramayana points out, Rama is a virtually perfect man. Do you find him less interesting than other heroes on that account? What indications are there in this portion of the text that his perfection may not be totally innate, but a state of being that he must work to achieve? How would this mirror the efforts we see his mother, Kausalya, make to discipline her feelings? How would that be consistent with the Hindu religious beliefs that imbue this work?
In a way, I do find Rama less interesting than other heroes that we have read about. He is labeled as the “perfect man.’ Throughout this story, there wasn’t anything that he did that stood out to me as a hardship. Other characters we have read about have worked their way through some type of hardship and came out of it gaining something, whether it being a good or bad thing. Rama was determined to go to Heaven and was already right there. His mother, Kausalya, was very distraught when it was time for Rama to leave. She pleaded for him not to go. She finally came to terms with what was happening and listened to Rama when he said he couldn’t disobey his father. Just like the Hindu religious beliefs, Rama stayed true to himself and continued to do what was best.
- In The Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna speaks to Arjuna, a warrior afraid to fight: compare Arjuna’s dilemma with that of Achilles in the Iliad, or that of Medea as she struggles with her maternal emotions when she is about to kill her sons by Jason. Compare the code of behavior Krishna outlines to the view of violence in Homer’s poem or Euripides’ Medea. If appropriate, look for materials in other belief systems that reflect on these questions: consider “[The First Murder]’ (Genesis 4), the Beatitudes (Mathew 5), or “The Offering of Isaac,’ or the table (Sura 5 of the Koran).
In the Iliad, Achilles, decides to fight because he is simply out for revenge. Arjuna isn’t very thrilled about fighting against his family and friends, but comes to terms with it because he thinks it is what is best for the “purpose of life.’ Arjuna is fighting to be better in life, unlike Achilles who only fought to have his name remembered!
The code of behavior is acode set for doing the right thing in order to get a better hand at being closer to God. Arjuna takes to this because he thinks it is what is right for him at the end of his time.