Response to “The Iliad”

I have so far learnt that most writers’, poets’ creation are based on our daily life. For example, Khaled Hosseini has written his popular novels which are based on Afghanis’ lives. In the same way, famous author Homer has written his famous epic The Iliad, which is based on ancient Greek people’s lives.

The Iliad starts from the 10th year of the war between Greeks and Trojans. The Iliad not only gives the readers the feeling of war but also describes how women are treated and what type of characters the gods and goddesses have.

By reading The Iliad, I have learnt that in ancient era, women have been treated as precious commodities among men. For example, Zeus, god of lightning, has the power to do sex with any girl he likes while traveling. What is more, according to rank, soldiers receives women as prizes while conquering a land. Besides, women don’t have any rights to express their feelings or to participate in the war. They are always compelled to stay at home. For instance, in The Iliad, when heralds of Agamemnon have come to take Achilles’ girl, Briseis, she doesn’t wish to go with them. However, neither she has the right to express her feelings, so she has gone with them unwillingly. In addition, nowhere in The Iliad is written that women have fought in that war. Moreover, they are seemed as an apple of discord among Greeks. All these evidence prove that women are treated badly in ancient Greek.

I have always learnt that god always holds all the noble qualities in order to attract people to follow his advice. Nevertheless, when I have read The Iliad, I have found that it is totally opposite in ancient Greeks. Most Greek gods and goddess don’t have noble qualities, but they have power. The most powerful god, Zeus, is fully characterless. His only work is to make love with beautiful girls. He has married his beautiful sister, Hera, the white-armed goddess. While reading The Iliad, a question emerge from my mind, if he can marry his sister and make love with all beautiful girls, why doesn’t he do something with his daughter, Helen, the most beautiful woman in ancient world?

In comparison to my god, Allah, he is the most noble and powerful person in the universe. He has sent his messengers to preach Islam among people. The messengers are noble persons too and they have patience in preaching Islam. They always respect women as a noble creation of Allah. They say that women have to be more respected than men. They also say that women should have equal opportunities as men.

In conclusion, The Iliad by Homer presents the idea of how Greek gods and goddess and their followers look like in the 800 BC.

Response on “Two Kinds”

The short story “Two Kinds” focuses on the theme that how parents coerce their children to their wishes and children oppose them. In the story, Jing-mei’s Mom would create pressure upon Jing-mei to become a popular person in her community. Like Suyuan Woo, Jing-mei’s Mom, I have an aunt who always compelled her daughter to follow her advices in order to make my cousin an exceptional, well-liked girl in her community.

Since my cousin was a little girl, my aunt would say her that she had to be an admired girl in her society. Like Jing-mei, my cousin would also think in the same way that she had to make her family and community proud. That’s why, her Mom told her to be a doctor as there was no female doctor in her community. It would be praiseworthy. In order to become a doctor, one had to study hard. Thus, her Mom always told her to study. At first, she was enthusiastic and followed her Mom’s direction. As the education system of Bangladesh was boring, she found it more interesting in reading books that are not related to her texts. Her mother became angry to see that her daughter had moved away from the track. She started to guard her while studying and also compelled her to her school books.

However, my cousin found it difficult to become a doctor because becoming a doctor in Bangladesh required not only hard work but also luck. She realized that it was not her path. She should choose such profession that seemed to her interesting. Hence, whenever her Mom told her to study, she would open a textbook and sat in front of it; nevertheless, she would not study anything. In fact she had no other way because her Mom never tried to understand her. Sometimes she might have studied the lessons. However, she would not write the answers in the exam in order to obtain a bad grade because she wanted to show her Mom that she wasn’t good student to be a doctor. Her Mom still believes that she can be a popular person and my sister never follows her advice. Moreover, she hasn’t still got the opportunity to choose a perfect subject for her. She thinks she can never find it if she lives with her Mom. So, the only thing now she feels is that she would never treat her children in this way. After reading the story “Two Kinds” and analyzing my cousin’s life, I too think that my children won’t be ever treated in the same way.

Response to “In Persuit of Immortality:The Science behind Life Extension

While reading the article “In Pursuit of Immortality: The Science behind Life Extension” by Kristie McNealy M.D., I was surprised with everything that I read in this article. It was really astonishing to see how much crazy people could be to find the key to immortality and eternal youth.

I am astounded when I realize that it is not a new phenomenon. Humans have been searching for it since before the birth of Christ. Then, in the modern era, scientists claim that they have reached more closely in finding the cure of aging and immortality. The results of the research in this field include pharmaceutical discovering, advancement in nanotechnology, cloning and cryonics. In order to stop growing older, human are using calorie restricted diet. This process helps them to approach as young, and they face less physical problem. Beside caloric restriction, nowadays people are interested in cloning too. However, the study of cryonics seems to me incredible. It is absolutely ridiculous that people choose using cryonics to preserve their dead bodies, believing that one day they will be alive again when science and technology will be able to repair their damaged organisms.

Human beings have come in this world through natural evolution not through science. As we have born naturally, why can’t we die naturally? If every people try to be immortal, population will increase. Giving a child birth is one of the most enjoyable events in a parent’s life. However, people will become selfish in the future. In order to reduce population and enjoy the world, people will stop giving birth to a child. In addition, people want to stop aging and always wish to become young. If every people look as young as their children, how can one distinguish between parents and their children? We will speak to our friends’ parents in the same way we talk to our friends. People won’t respect each other. Some of us might love any of our friends’ Mom or Dad and will marry him or her. Can anyone think what the situation will be then? We won’t have any morality or feelings at that time. Scientists might be able to stop aging and make people immortal, but can they stop aging of our mind? One day some of immortal people might lose interest in this world and wish to die. However, will there be any way of dying? Immortal people can experience everything, but they can’t have the taste of dying. Hence, as scientists always pretend to be busy with research, in the future they might be busy in searching the key to gain mortality.

Response To “Rules of the Game”

Like every mother my Mom was too conscious about me in my childhood. She would forbid me from many activities, which were harmful to me, by telling about ghosts. Moreover she would call ghost to come and to take me away when I would not eat food. Then, I would become afraid and ate everything whatever she gave me to eat.

I enjoyed reading the short story “Rules of the Game” of Waverly Jong from the novel The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. While reading the story, I have seen many similarities between Waverly’s Mom and my Mom. For example, when I was a child, once I cried for a doll or an ice-cream while Mom did shopping. However, at that time my mother wouldn’t give me anything but scolding. After arriving home, she would tell me that she didn’t buy anything for me because of disturbing her while shopping. So, next time, I tried my best to keep myself quiet while her shopping, so she bought an ice-cream for me when she had finished her shopping. Like Waverly’s mom, my Mom would stand over me and look whether I was studying my lesson or reading story books. Hence, when I became a teenager, I told her that I would do good results in my exams if she gave me a study-room of my own. Thus, she agreed to my proposal and I obtained good results in school. Then, like Waverly’s Mom, my Mom forbade me from doing any house-hold chores with her. Instead of me, she told my younger sister to help her in household chores. In childhood, I wouldn’t understand her many activities, but now I know why she did all these behavior. Actually she did those for our welfare.

However, beside similarities, there are some differences between Waverly’s Mom and my Mom. For instance, my mother didn’t like to show off. She never liked to tell anybody anything about her children. Moreover, she had never taken any credits whenever we obtained bright result. She would thank and prayed to Allah so that we could always obtain good results. In conclusion, although sometimes I have conflicts with my Mom, I really love her very much.

Response to “The Red Candle”

When I read the short story of Lindo Jong from the novel “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan, I became surprised to read Lindo’s sacrificing life for keeping her parents’ promise.

In this story, in every passage I could feel how much it was hard for Lindo to lead her life by keeping reminding herself about the promise. It was really astonishing to feel how much obedient she was to keep her parents’ reputation. Like her, I am obedient too to keep my promise not only to my parents but also to others. When I was young, my parents told me not to do such deeds that would lessen their reputation in the society. So, whenever I do any activities, even now I ask myself whether my deeds will lessen or add to my parents’ status. When I get the answer from my mind that it won’t lessen their reputation, I do the actions. For example, when I was a child, my mother told me that our society didn’t appreciate a girl walking with a friend (male) in the street, or taking meal together in a general place. In my college, I had many friends (male & female). Once they proposed to go to a restaurant to eat fast food. As I remembered my promise, I didn’t go with them. I always try my best to keep my promise. For instance, I spent my childhood in a middle-east country named Oman. I had many friends in my school there. Two of them were very close to me. Therefore, when I was coming back to Bangladesh, we promised each other that when we would grow up, we would find one another. One year ago, I learned from newspaper that face book had become very popular among everybody and it is easy to find friends there. Although I didn’t like face book too much, I opened an account here to find my friends. As a result, I found them in face book and in this way I kept my promise.

In conclusion, may be to keep these promises I didn’t have to sacrifice my life like Lindo; however, I had to sacrifice some of my happiness to keep promises especially my parents’ promises. In the story, if I were Lindo, I would try my best to keep my parents’ promise. However, one day I might lose my temper and burst out forgetting all about my promises, or I might make a plan like Lindo to balance all sides and thus, enjoy freedom.

Modern Era

Last two weeks I have read three poems that are related to our second theme Youth and Age. From these three poems, I have found many similarities with my life and society.

At first, when I finished reading “The Fury of Overshoes” by Anne Sexton, I realized that every child has same types of feeling and is dependent upon grownups in their childhood. Like the speaker, in my childhood I couldn’t tie the shoes, I cried too when I fall off my bicycle and I felt angry when I couldn’t take bath of my own. Like the poet, I was too afraid in my childhood. I remember an earthquake took place one night. My Mom told me to get away from the bed, but I didn’t because I thought earthquake was a ghost who sat under my bed and he was shaking my bed. If I leave my bed, he’d eat me. However, that day I was a child and that’s why I didn’t understand what earthquake was. Moreover, in my childhood I couldn’t go out without adult persons. It seemed to me as if I am a lame who need crutches to walk and that time I would ask my Mom that when I would become an adult.

Secondly, after I finished reading “the Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein a deep sigh came out of my heart because the theme of this poem is the ruthless reality in today’s world. In this modern era, if you observe your surroundings, you will see most of the old people aren’t respected in their family and some of them are sent to old home. Nevertheless, these parents have given the opportunity to their children to see the world. In addition to, these children are established with the help of their parents. Moreover, these old parents looked after their children when they’re child and dedicate their lives to their children’s happiness. When these parents grew old and needed companion, they seemed burden to their children. Besides, to live happily in modern life, some of these children sent their parents to old home. This is the way, how old parents are treated by their children in the modern world.

Finally, after reading the poem “On Aging” by Maya Angelou, I could hear the voice of old people who never wished to be dependent on others. For example, my parents aren’t old enough; they always tell that they never wish to be dependent on me and my siblings. However, we think that old people need our companion, but actually they don’t. They love to lead their life of their own. According to them, their body may get old but their souls remain ever fresh. Nonetheless, from the side of Bangladesh, the number of this type of old people aren’t too much.

Musa (AS) and the Cruel King Pharaoh

            Myths and beliefs differ from religion to religion, society to society and country to country. So, when I read the myth of Persephone by Clare b. Dunkle, I remembered that my religion Islam also has such types of story for example, Stories of Musa (AS).

            Musa (AS), son of Bani Israel, is one of our prophets. He was born in Egypt. That time Egypt was ruled by a cruel king named Pharaoh. One day one of his astrologer predicted that his kingdom would be destroyed and he would be killed by one Bani Israel’s sons. When the cruel king heard that, he became afraid and ordered his army to kill the entire male baby whoever born in Bani Israel’s family. When Musa (AS) was born, an invisible voice told Musa’s mother that he will become one of the prophets of Allah. So, he needed to be protected. Musa’s mother had heard the order of Pharaoh, so she asked the invisible voice, “How can I protect him?” The divine voice suggested her that she put Musa (AS) in a waterproof box and throw it in river Nile. She did so and sent her daughter to see where the box reached. Musa’s sister had seen that the box stopped in front of the Pharaoh’s palace and a man of that palace found it while fishing and took it in the palace. The Pharaoh couple didn’t have any child, so Pharaoh’s wife, Aasiya asked him to adopt the child and Pharaoh agreed with her. He ordered his men to bring some women to breast feed the infant, but the baby refused to drink milk from other women who came to feed him. When it was his mother’s turn, he started sucking his mother’s breast. So, Musa and his mother were reunited again in Pharaoh’s palace.

When he grew adult, he went to Median and married a woman there. At the time of his returning back to Egypt, he was declared by an invisible voice that he had become a prophet and was given some power such as his stick could turn into snake. He was also ordered to invite Egyptians towards Allah. So, when he returned to Pharaoh’s palace, he told that he was a messenger of Allah and Pharaoh should join to his religion. Pharaoh rejected his proposal and killed people who joined with him. As a result, Musa (AS) and his people had started leaving Egypt, but Pharaoh and his army followed them. When Musa (AS) and his people reached near river Nile, he struck his stick in the river and the river was divided and a road was created in the middle of the river. So, they crossed the road safely. When Pharaoh and his people reached in the middle of that road, Musa struck the stick again in the river. The road was vanished and as a consequence, Pharaoh and his people sank in the river. Thus, cruel Pharaoh and his kingdom were destroyed.

Reflection

While I was reading the short story “Once in a Lifetime” written by popular writer Jhumpa Lahiri, I became nostalgic for a while. In the story, it is written that, when Hema was nine years old, she was coerced to wear the clothes of Kaushik. She had received those clothes when Kaushik’s family came back to India. In my childhood I would live in a joined family and I was the eldest sister among my cousins. Hence, when I grew up, the clothes that would not fit me were given away to my cousin, who was two years younger than me. Moreover she was always forced to read the old textbooks of mine. It was really painful and she did not like it. For this reason, she would often quarrel with her mother and cried a lot not to force her to wear all those clothes, or use those books. I too remember, like Hema’s party dress some of my dress would also contain the seal of the textile company. Like Hema I would fret too about this fact, but my mother would always assure me in the same way Hema’s mother did to her. Like Hema’s family, sometimes we had party in our house and like Hema’s mother; my mother and aunts would cook lots of delicious food. Like Hema, I and my cousins would become hungry by the smell of the food, but we had not been allowed to touch the foods before the guests arrived. In the story, it is written that, Hema had to leave her room for Kaushik when his family came back to America and had to stay for some days in their house until Kaushik”s family found for them one. I remember; we would also have relatives who would visit our family from time to time. As they would stay in our house for some days, I had to sacrifice my room for their children although like Hema I did not like that somebody would stay in my room and damage my favorite things and room. I would often ask my Mom that when the guests would go away from our home and she would console me. Like Hema, whenever I would meet any of my modern and fashionable aunts, I would feel with awe. I wished if I could be like them. In conclusion, in this story, I have found many similarities with my life and I recalled them when I was reading the story.