The most important parallel between the Greek myth of Jason and Medea and Jesmyn Ward’s novel, Salvage the Bones, is the parallel connection and comparison between Medea, Esch, and China relating to their pregnancies. The comparison between these three characters is integral to the novel because it allows us to analyze Esch in a new light, as she transforms from an abused and objectified girl into a potentially powerful woman who has more control in her life. As Skeetah argues that China’s pregnancy had only made her stronger, “He glances at [Esch], too” (96). Skeetah’s glance towards Esch as he describes the power China has gained from giving birth illustrates a connection between Esch and China, and in turn Medea, as all three characters
Aspects of Medea’s quest are apparent in the relationships in Jesmyn Ward’s coming of age novel centered around Hurricane Katrina, Salvage the Bones. Medea’s enchanting and ruthless tendencies are showcased through Skeetah and his dog China’s unwavering bond through sickness and brutal dog fights; on the contrary,
Medea portrays the consequence of a rebellious being’s response to a hostile society through vengeance, passion, and deceitfulness. It also gives the reader a unique perspective on the roles of women that were considered taboo, and still are, at least in the western culture. At the beginning of her relationship with Jason, Medea was strengthen by love to do the unimaginable. Her clever and crafty style were her frequent methods of overcoming obstacles and getting what she wanted. She tricked the daughters of Pelias to boil him alive when he refused to give Jason the throne.
Greek Mythology is notoriously anti-female revolution. From Aeschylus’s depiction of Clytemnestra’s thirst for power to one’s own Euripides’ depiction of Medea’s rampage of revenge, Greek mythology is terrified of powerful women. The Bacchae by Euripides makes no exception and continues stifling female empowerment; however, Euripides adds his own unique spin on terrifying female depiction. Instead of just representing women in power as monsters to fear, he instead blames femininity as the culprit. He uses the Bacchae, Dionysus, and Pentheus as examples of the danger in accessing one’s own femininity.
Whether it be a movie or novel, women are commonly portrayed as objects of beauty and the weaker gender. It is a typical stereotype that women are weak and men are strong; women are made to serve men. However, Homer’s The Odyssey is different; the epic poem proves that women can not only be manipulative, but that they can also be powerful and often stronger than men. Women in this epic poem have several roles like being interventions throughout Odysseus’ journey home from the Trojan War.
She describes the world to be unjust, especially to women. Medea believes that women are looked as inferior to men, and even so, men are quick to display their unlikely maltreatment. To her, women have little to no say in their marriage, their bodies, and general society. Medea’s outlook of women is first conveyed through this quote, bringing upon the theme of the state of women within Greece. This quote reveals the state of women within Greece, a leading theme of the story.
Meanwhile, Penelope is in Ithaka busy dealing with the suitors who vie for her hand in marriage, tending to her loom, and directing her serving maids at work. In Homer’s epic poem, women, and goddesses are treated differently than men and gods when it comes to their freedom, expectations, and image. One common occurrence in this epic poem is unequal freedom for women,
This patriarchal system that oppresses women for their actions, including shunning them for being deceptive, reveals the double standard in society, but also reveals the social statuses in this time period that oppressed women and bound them from being able to change the overall epic. The approval of the gods and their succor was all the Greeks wanted at the time;
In many societies today, individuals are led to believe that the concept of women possessing their own strength or independence is abnormal. As a result, women experience the world in a constrained way in comparison to men, even if they are in higher classes of society. However, these extensive aspects of females are contradicted in some ancient Greek literature. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, Homer portrays women as a vital and powerful force through the characters Penelope and Circe, who counter the normality of misogyny in Homer’s time. Penelope’s character displays how some women are able to exceed society’s standards and show strength and cleverness when it is necessary.
Lady Macbeth and Medea are therefore considered tragic heros because they put their loyalty above their own self-worth. Ultimately, this ideal encompasses how femininity is controlled by men, because the actions of the Macbeth and Jason were the cause for Lady Macbeth and Medea’s
Women have always been portrayed as the weaker sex compared to men. It has been demonstrated in history itself and throughout literary works. Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Homer’s The Odyssey, however, portray women to be more powerful than men, even when their society thought otherwise and underestimated them because of their gender. Lady Macbeth, The Three Witches, Queen Arête and Penelope demonstrate the astute, charming, and ambitious side of women that was overlooked by men when it came to having power and making decisions.
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, is a coming of age story of a young girl in a world of men. We first see her as a quiet and maybe even weak individual but by the end of the novel, Esch has this sort of transformation that allows us to see her very differently. In this novel, we are given the opportunity to follow the Baptiste’s as they live their daily lives in the poor town of Bois Savage in the coming days of Hurricane Katrina. Postmodernism is a theory described as the divergence from modernism that doubts the reliability of grand theories and Jesmyn Ward does a good job incorporating characteristics of this theory into the novel. Salvage the Bones uses postmodernist techniques like, fragmentation, magical realism, pastiche, intertextuality and irony to create different aspects that then work very well together.
The Odyssey by Homer contains multiple moments where female characters are oppressed or fit into a patriarchy, but there are several moments where these character show signs of rebellion against this oppression. Applying a critical lense of feminism to these characters and relationships create complexities and conflicts within the novel that shine meaning on the world. The character Penelope offers many of these moments. Analyzing the actions, situation, and comparisons with other characters using a the feminist critical lense will show a more enriched version of Penelope and offer a deeper insight of the patriarchy, and how is affects the world.
Euripides created a modern day woman who seeks justice and revenge with her cleverness and power. Medea acted as a feminine heroine who established that women can also be as strong as men. The feeling of being left by someone you love is truly painful hence, Medea expressed her emotions as much as she can and mourned for her lost. It is true that women can be sensitive and emotional so there was Medea portraying a usual woman in an unusual manner.