Flood Myth Archetype

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An archetype is a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art or mythology. Throughout history an archetype that comes up all over the world in many different cultures is the Flood Myth archetype. From Judaism, to Greek Mythology to Hinduism this archetype is prevalent in almost every religion and mythology. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson, is a modern day interpretation of the flood myth that incorporates several values the humanity embraces in the twenty-first century.

In the traditional flood myth a deity of some form sends a flood to wipe out humanity, however in Seveneves this is not the case. Generally, the deity sends a flood to wipe out humanity because they are wicked. For example, in the Bible, “God, ups at mankind's wickedness, resolved
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In the Hindu flood myth, “the Fish begged protection from larger fish. In return the fish would save Manu...The Fish wanted Manu of the impending flood”(Flood Stories From Around the World). In Seveneves humanity builds a large swarm of miniature spaceships to escape the impending doom and decides to populate it with “astronauts, cosmonauts, military and scientists whose skills are needed”. Ancient society valued people on their righteousness and devotion to their religion but Neal Stephenson is showing that in the twenty-first century society values people based on their skills and ability to positively contribute to society. These distinct differences further show a change in societal values throughout…show more content…
For example in the Bible, God decides to destroy the wicked “but Noah was righteous and found favor with him”(Flood Stories From Around the World). In the Bible the moral is to obey and fear God or suffer the consequences. In Seveneves, as the meteorites fell Dinah’s family members attempt to survive by surviving in a mine. Dinah imagined her brothers “Bob and Ed… rushing out of the mine's Entrance to haul Dad in… Dragging him inside. An inch-thick steel plate being slammed across the doorway, the welders going to work laying down fat fillets made to last five thousand years.”(325.8) The moral of Seveneves is persistence. At every twist and turn throughout the novel humanities persistence to survive is shown. Even those who were not chosen to board the swarm of spaceships attempt to survive by going underground in mines or underwater in submarines. Ultimately the difference in morals shows society’s movement from relying on God or a deity to save or destroy them to humanity relying on themselves to determine their own
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