Use of Mythology in Snow Crash Essay
Mythology is a name which dictates two aspects of life. To begin as off, it is used to describe several myths which form mythological systems that were derived from different societies and were used at a certain time in human history. Secondly it may be defined as a study of myths or their systems.
This book brings out a world of great imagination and thinking. It has brought about an aspect of modernity and other technical aspects of life. These have been fully connected to bring out the sense of the hidden unnoticeable aspects. This aspect is used in different societies like the Greeks and Sumerians. Most of the uses are not in the physical world but in the mental and psychological (Herbert 5; Kelly 14).
Odysseus was the king of Ithica, one of the strongest chieftains in the Trojan War and the best known ancient Greek heroes. He was smart and valuable and was not only used where the physical combat was involved, but was also involved in the planning levels. He was involved in the invention of the Trojan horse tactics which was the main reason that led to the Greeks winning the war.
Odysseus was given the fallen Achilles’ armor which was attributed by the fact that he had sharp wits that achieved much. To survive, Odysseus uses his shrewd intellect which is a human and modern ways of facing the challenges that he faces (Neol 23).
The theory of Freud Sigmund is vividly portrayed. This is seen through Oedipus. The theory comes to life through the action of killing his biological father and marring his biological mother. In the long run Oedipus does discover the whole truth about his parents. He therefore decides to leave the city. Unfortunately, death comes in and he is no more. By putting out his own, Oedipus accepts fate.
There is also another depiction of this mythology that is academically described as classical. This is through Media. The girl is a princess from Colchis on the Black sea. We see her saving the life of the prince of Greece and secure for her the Golden Fleece which she treasured so much. Medea takes vengeance on Jason who cruelly had abandoned her as his wife. She kills Jason and her father-in-law, and the children she and Jason had together. The description of Medea is that of having roots from the gods.
The other women that are portrayed in the book also had relationships that were not doing very well. Some women are raped by gods and others sacrifice much but they also end up being abandoned by their husbands. Jason does fail to uphold the oath. Unfortunately demonization is directed to Media. This symbolizes an act of inequality between the males and the females. Medea is observed to be a witch and therefore belonged to a universe where there were religious beliefs and superstitions which were later replaced (Neol 99).
Zeus is a figure that is very close to an omnipotent ruler yet he is not that powerful. Zeus has a destiny and Cronus, the father, is not able to avoid being overthrown by his own son indicating that he has already accepted fate. We see acceptance of fate by everyone because even Zeus has already accepted the fact that even him will be overthrown by his own son who is yet to be born. Zeus is a divine upholder for the humans and the gods although he lacks sympathy and treats humans badly by raping women and using them just for his pleasure.
Beauty is much talked about in the book with the notion that beautiful means good. There is a description of beauty. An artificial beauty is being given a prominent place in the myths and also happens to be the case in religion and the guiding principles. The Orpheue’s winning over the Hades with the lovely music that he played is described in a beautiful way. Beauty in the book is described as not being in the eye of the beholder but rather as something that is verifiable (Neol 45).
In a myth such as the creation, love is observed to be a force that led even to the creation of the earth. This most certainly is different from the usual treatment of love. We appreciate love to be a bonding that happens between a man and a woman and then they live happily together but in the myths in this book, the tales are tragic ones.
Women are observed to love so much but their counterparts are observed to misuse them, some are rapped and kidnapped. It is out of love that some women betray their own families so that they can have the men that they so much love. This does not end up well when the women who have devoted themselves to their marriage are later abandoned. This acts as a lesson to them not to always give up their families for the sake of the strangers who are not even related to them by blood.
Cannibalism which is the eating of flesh has been introduced as a mythology. Children in the myths are sliced and cooked for eating. Tantalus who is very poor serves his son to the gods. Much revenge by practicing cannibalism to one’s children as it appears as the sweetest thing to do when in need of a better and a more effective way. Cronus swallows his children in trying to prevent his downfall. The practice of cannibalism might seem as if it is accepted in the society, but it is observed to be punishable as it happens to each one of them.
The Greeks have a mythology that uplifts art to a level of divine practice (Kelsey 34). The gods understands the powers of art and therefore are providing a sparing hand for it. The art serves as a way of substituting the use of text. The art links the gods and the men since gods themselves appreciate and make them. It is therefore ok to describe art as some kind of bridge. This bridge could be for example lie in between the gods and the other beings that can be faced out through death.
Greek gods are introduced as divine beings though they resemble humans in their actions which offer some explanations to mysterious happenings (Neol 120). These actions are like suffering, fighting each other or even suffering as humans do. This is why the myths are qualified especially through the linking of the invisible and the visible world or the human aspect of the gods. While this is deemed true, it means that the uncertain nature and mysteries can be explained by the actions of the gods.
An example is given where wine can lead to drunken happiness while it can still lead to wildness which is dangerous. This depicts the dual nature of Dionysus. The changing seasons of the fields, where they lie barren for a third of the year and then blossom in a flowery spring, depicts Demeter’s annual mourning for the loss of her daughter. These two; Dionysus and Demeter help explain some characteristics we see in the visible realm.
It therefore shows that these myths help explain some peculiarities in the world. An example of this is in the realm of waterways and navigation. In the Greek civilization, sea faring and sea trade were very vital and that led the Greeks to have the desire to explain water bodies, these were the wide varieties of water oriented gods.
A stormy sea would show anger of Poseidon and a calms sea would show the beneficence of the sea nymph. The multiplicity of the gods was due to the fact that the events of the water are inexplicable and all such could not be ascribed to just one god and therefore, a whole host of divinities were used to explain the diversity of the water mysteries.
These large numbers of gods and people showed the complexities that emanated from the world around them which the intricate explains from the explanations depicted in the myth. The other reason that accounts for the complexity of the myths is the diversity of the sources in compilation. These materials are borrowed from play writes and poems which are very diverse in culture and their versions differ even among these sources.
To conclude it is obvious from the myths that the way of life differs greatly to the modern ways in which man is now living. Things like cannibalism and inequalities in human beings where women are observed to be oppressed through kidnapping and rape should not in any way be allowed to happen in the modern society.
Herbert, Jennings. A Handbook of Greek Mythology. London: Routledge Inc., 1991
Kelly, Douglas “Sources of Greek Myth”. An Outline of Greek and Roman Mythology. London: Sage, 2003.
Kelsey, Francis W. A Handbook of Greek Mythology. London: Allyn and Bacon, 1999.
Neol, Stephenson. Sow Crash. New York: Bantam Books, 1992
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