Ovid and Bambara

Ovid and Bambara - Professor Prossor English 111 13...

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Professor Prossor English 111 13 September 2008 The more you know… In the following stories; Ovid’s “Terus, Philomela, and Procrne” and Bambara’s “The Lesson”, it is obvious that knowledge breeds violence. It is often said “Ignorance is bliss” (template) since the less someone knows the more content they are. This is definitely shown as correct, because in these stories, the more the characters learn about certain situations and circumstances, the more violent their actions and thoughts are. Those unfamiliar with this school of thought may be interested to know that it basically boils down to the more someone knows about a particular subject, the more defensive or violent they may act in order to protect it or they may become violent in order to change it (template). Both stories have proof that knowledge brings violence, even if they are far different in the style of writing, and different circumstances of the storyline. In both stories, the authors used captivity and the knowledge of captivity as fuel for the violence that occurs. Ovid’s third person story, “Tereus, Philomela, and Procrne” is about how a husband is set off to bring back his wife’s sister, Philomela, as a present. He lied to his wife telling her she was dead, when in fact she was his captive in a tower. Even when he saw his wife heartbroken, he felt empowered knowing that he was the only one with the true knowledge about where the sister was and how he was treating her (Ovid 1045). Since the story is in third person, there is no way of knowing what exactly the characters are thinking, instead it is just portrayed in how the author shows the reader.
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This is a drawback for the story since it is not a first hand account of what happened and what the captive sister felt or thought, because she had the knowledge of being captive and the readers were not sure if she was thinking about revenge or any violence for that matter. In comparison, in Bambara’s “The Lesson” is a narrative about how lower class children are metaphorically captives of a neighbor when she takes them to a high class toy store so they can learn more about the world and unfair it truly is. The narrator states
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2010 for the course ENG 100 taught by Professor Lettau during the Fall '06 term at Palomar.

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Ovid and Bambara - Professor Prossor English 111 13...

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