Throughout the semester we have been reading materials which all share a common theme; moral dilemmas and decisions. Every novel or short story consists of characters who are challenged with making choices that will affect the greater good.
In Huck Finn we are introduced to Huck, a young boy with a troubled past who run’s away from his father, leaving him to live on his own and eventually with a runaway slave, Jim. Not only do we see Huck’s morals developing, but we also see him making choices which challenge the norms of society in order to do what he feels is right.
Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is no different. The women of the city must choose to take a stance in order to attempt to put a stop to the war that has consumed their husbands. The women are portrayed as being very sexual creatures who are also very capable and self sufficient. Personally, I think it is not only shocking but important that the women are depicted as being sexual beings considering still today power and sexuality seem to go hand in hand. Taking a stand against the majority of society, the men of the city, and the local polis means that they too are turning against the everyday standards set by society.
Shakespeare is also quite successful in putting into perspective the challenges that individuals face within a community. In Twelfth Night the reader is introduced to Viola, a female character who chooses to disguise herself as a male in order to seek shelter from life, just as Lady Olivia does. When a love triangle arises between the Duke, Cesario (the male Viola), and Lady Olivia, Viola is faced with the decision to set everyone straight or not. We also see the developing of the Duke as the play progresses; while in the beginning of the play his loved was based on aesthetic traits by the end he is able to see the deeper sides of the characters, specifically Viola.
“The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education”, the Kolvenbach essay we read stresses the importance of putting one’s beliefs into action. This is the ultimate concept that ties the books, short stories, plays, we have read thus far together. All of the characters are responsible to themselves and in a sense society to challenge the everyday or typical standards and roles put in place by society.