Monday, August 30, 2010

Chaos is...the opportunity

Odysseus is long lost at sea, leaving his home unprotected and vulnerable, and leaving his son the opportunity to become a hero. Telemachus is just an infant when his father leaves and grows up in the chaos left behind in his absence. Suitors fight for his mother’s adoration and land, leaving the home he knows in shambles. This chaos is put to an end with Odysseus’ return as father and son fight side by side to eliminate the chaos. This bloody but inspirational battle reaches its close as Telemachus exposes his true beauty, saving a man’s life at the hands of his father. His empathy builds him even above his father’s natural talents arguing that through a chaotic childhood he has become a better man.
Although Telemachus is exposed to the chaos of the suitors, it is nothing compared to the horrors witnessed by Odysseus on his journey home. His conflicts with the Cyclops, witches, Posiedon, and many others not only make him into a better man, they also construct a hero. A man’s legacy was very important at this time, it defined him. Odysseus, through the trials he endures, is written the ultimate legend, and lives on through it. This opportunity for immortality in script is only available because of the chaos he endures.
In addition the familial chaos brings interference from the goddess Athena, who exemplifies beauty in its finest form. Without their bad fortune Odysseus and his family would have never pulled on the goddesses heart strings and thus would have never witnessed her beauty.

Chaos is...absent from beauty

Lily Briscoe finds comfort only in her painting as her world is turned upside down in the chaos of Mrs. Ramsey’s death. Lily begins the portrait of her mentor, friend and idol at the beginning of Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse, portraying her as the perfect mother. As the chaos in the household intensifies Lily is drawn away from her painting and her idealized view of the world. She only completes it once order is restored. She observes a ship, deep in the horizon, carrying a changed Mr. Ramsey and his children and thinks that “nothing stays, all changes; but not words, not paint”. Despite the turmoil of the past and even the changing present Lily’s ideal, her true version of beauty, is preserved.
Like her portrait displays, Mrs. Ramsey also enjoys a life without chaos. She is a socialite who maintains her livelihood through dinner parties and having guests at the house. The beauty of Mrs. Ramsey is that, even with an absentee husband and countless house guests, she maintains the order and cleanliness of a home.