The Rape of your Daughter

From the moment a mother finds out she is pregnant, a protective instinct takes over. From that day on her only job is to make sure her children are safe from harm. When a mother finds out that her daughter has been raped, it breaks that mother’s heart. It makes her question her abilities as a mother, and regret every moment that she gave her daughter freedom to allow this horrible event to occur.

In Brecht’s play, Mother Courage and her Children, this is the complete opposite. Brecht provides us with a mother that every child would never dream of having. Her only concern is making a living from the war. Through out the play all three of her children die, but that does not matter because she has to keep working.

In act six, Mother Courage sends her daughter Kattrin to town with the Regimental Secretary to pick up a package from the Golden Lion. As Kattrin is leaving, Mother Courage tells her, “most everyone’s at the Field Marshall’s funeral, nothing can happen to you. Hang tight to the package,” (65). When Kattrin returns, Mother Courage notices a cut on her forehead and eye. Although it appears that Kattrin has been raped and beat up, she is still bringing the supplies for her mother. After Mother Courage bandages up Kattrin’s face, she gives her Yvette’s red shoes and say’s, “No husband for her now,” (70). Even after she finds her daughter in such a horrible condition Mother Courage still says, “War! A great way to make a living,” (69).

Through this scene you are able to realize that Mother Courage is not the mother most girls would desire. I know that if I got raped, I would not want Mother Courage to be by my side. As mentioned in Professor Newman’s lecture, the goal of epic theater is to interrupt our pity by de-naturalizing the dramatic event going on on stage. Through epic theater, Brecht does not allow us to have sympathy on Kattrin, but instead makes us question Mother Courage’s place as a mother.

Even though this war has just caused her daughter great pain, Mother Courage still loves this war because its “a great way to make a living.” I know for sure that my mom would immediately drop her business and move our family as far away form the war as possible. This is because the main role of a mother is to make sure her children are safe, and then to have a successful business in order to provide for the children.

In act three Kattrin had put on Yvette’s shoes and hat. Yvette was the hooker for the army. Mother Courage immediately takes off the hat and told her, “ You want them stumbling across you and making you their whore?” (36).  Now that Kattrin has been raped, Mother Courage gives Kattrin the shoes that she had once forbade her to wear. Although it may look like she did this to try to make her feel better, it may also be that now her mother thinks she should be a hooker since she is no longer a ‘lady.’ This also takes away her dream of her daughter marrying someone some day.

As you can see, Mother Courage does not feel that bad for her daughter. Her main concern is making money during the war. Brecht gives us this example of a horrible mother to teach other mother’s not to be like her. He is telling them that instead of worrying about making money, they should always have their children as their first priority.

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Three Sides to One Story

People always say there are three sides to a story. The first side is the side of one group who embellishes the story with their own thoughts. The second side is the other group who also embellishes the story, but for their own benefit. The third side is the truth which is unaltered and in most cases unknown. I believe the same is true for translations of stories. In class, we discussed that translation means to carry something across different languages. This means that the translator is able to pick and choose what he wants to include and what he wants to exclude.

There are two translations to a witness account on the Sage of Magdeburg. The first witness account is translated by Julie K. Tanaka. From this account we get the sense that the witness, Otto Guericke, is looking at the war from far. It gives us an ugly picture about the war, but it does not seem as bad as the second account that Robinson gives us. Robinson’s translation seems like he is actually inside the city watching all this happen in front of him.

For example, both translations mention the army attacking the city too hard, therefore trying to defend themselves would be useless. As the reader, one interprets each translation differently by the way it is explained by each writer. In Tanaka’s account she says “Fires were set everywhere. By this time, it was too late for the city and all resistance was in vain…to be sure,citizens and soldiers gathered and resisted,” (Tanaka, 1). Robinson’s version says, “Fires were kindled in different quarters; then indeed it was all over with the city, and further resistance was useless. Nevertheless, some of the soldiers and citizens did try to make a stand,” (Robinson).  These two passages are both saying the same thing, but the translation is different. When Tanaka say’s that fires were set everywhere, this is the view you would see from far, but from close you would get Robinson’s view by describing that the fire was not everywhere, but in different quarters.

There is also a difference between just watching a battle and actually experiencing it. Tanaka’s translation says that the “most terrible moment lasted not much more then two hours, as the wind picked up and furiously spread the fire,” (Tanaka, 2). Robinson say’s that “in a single day [the ] noble city…went up in flames,” (Robinson). Once again, both translations are basically saying the same thing. Yet, the way they say it makes it seem completely different. If you were just watching a battle, you would be able to realize that it took only two hours for the city to go up in flames like in Tanaka’s translation. If you were inside the city, in the middle of the battle, time would be the last thing on your mind. Then two hours would seem like what Robinson’s translation says, “a single day.”

Although many parts of the article seem the same, there are many differences. Therefore, translations may not always tell the full story, or even the correct story. Little differences, may make a big change.

This is just another form of interpretation. It is up to you to decide what it looks like. It is the same for an author deciding to translate a novel. They get to choose what to do with it.

This is just another form of interpretation. It is up to you to decide what it looks like. It is the same for an author deciding to translate a novel. They get to choose what to do with it.

Women are the Backbone

As many people would say, women are the backbone of men. Men may be the head of the family, but they would not be able to move or walk without that strong woman at their side. In Homer’s Iliad, this is especially true of the men of the heroic society. The men believed that the women were not worth much because they did not go to battle and fight for their city. Yet, while they were in battle, the women were back at home taking care of everything else. The women raised the warriors’  children. They were the ones that taught the children the morals and values they needed to become an amazing warrior just like their father. The father was at war, and never helped raise that child in the right path. The women were the ones who prayed for those men day and night while they worried if they would ever see their loved ones again. When the men were gone, the women had to take responsibility over everything. Apart from their regular duties they had to take on the men’s duties as well. It was no longer women cook and clean and men do the hard work that gained the money. Without these women, the Trojan city would have collapsed sooner then it did.

So, with all this work that the women did, where is their praise? Where is their epic poem? The Iliad mentions women, but only as a prize. They mention women as an object to have sex with. They mention women as the weak ones waiting for the men to return home from battle. The Iliad does not give any recognition to these strong women who are the backbone of men.

So, to all those unrecognized women who support their family in the same way or maybe even more then the head of the household, thank you for all your hardwork that goes unnoticed.

Is the War on Terrorism valid?

During this weeks lecture, Professor Izenberg said that war was a conflict in which people were asked to kill and die for principles. Even today, this is true about war. Family members and friends are sometimes taken from us due to these wars going on beyond our oceans. Professor Izenberg also brought up a very good point about war which was, are the reasons for fighting valid? For example, was it valid that the warriors of Troy were away from their homes and family for nine years because Paris decided to steal Helen away from Menelaus? In my opinion, this was not a valid reason. So how about the wars going on now, is there a valid reason for putting our soldiers’ lives at risk in the Middle East?

On the horrible day of September 11, 2001 when many American lives were lost due to a terrorist attack, the United States decided to go to war with the Middle East. In my opinion, this was a valid reason to go to war. Yet, there have been many rumors that the United States planned this tragic event. They say that in order to get into the Middle East and get oil, the United States allowed 9/11 to happen. If this rumor is true, then I believe we have absolutely no reason for losing many of our brave men to a war that was basically planned.

Nonetheless, if this war started off on retaliation, then why are our soldiers still dying in war? Osama Bin Laden was killed, which was our main priority. The United States should make sure they bring as many Americans back home as safely as they can.

In an article I read written by Michael Totten, he says, “American voters in both parties have had it. They’re just flat-out not interested in spending any more money or lives to help out.” Totten is correct, this war has gone on too long. It is said that this is the longest amount of time that United States has been in a state of war. It is also said that the United States is at war with 134 different countries. Perhaps the government has prolonged this war to get their oil. If that is so, the United States no longer has any valid reasons of fighting in the Middle East.

Just like in the Iliad, America is in a prolonged war for invalid reasons killing many innocent soldiers.

This picture shows events that occurred since 9/11. The top left image shows the aftermath of the plane crashes on the twin towers. The top right picture shows soldiers arriving at Afghanistan, and the bottom two show soldier fighting and dyeing. Although it is not certain, but this may all be happening for one reason, gas.

This picture shows events that occurred since 9/11. The top left image shows the aftermath of the plane crashes at the World Trade Center in New York. The top right picture shows soldiers arriving at Afghanistan, and the bottom two show soldiers fighting and dyeing. Although it is not certain, this may all be happening for one reason, oil.

1 Homer, Robert Fagles, and Bernard Knox. The Iliad. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Viking, 1990. Print.

2 Totten, Michael J. “No Exit: Why the US Can’t Leave the Middle East.” World Affairs. 1 Dec. 2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. <http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/no-exit-why-us-can’t-leave-middle-east>.

3 McGrath, Timothy. “The US Is Now Involved In 134 Wars.” MintPress News. 22 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. <http://www.mintpressnews.com/us-now-involved-134-wars/196846/>.

A Tragic Necessity

Many people believe that war is an evil act that should be avoided as much as possible. War is seen as a desperate time in which many suffer and die fighting for something they may not even fully understand or actually believe in. Some soldiers may go to war just to be heroic and earn that honor, others may find no other meaning for their life, while few may actually want to fight because it is what they believe in.

In my opinion, war is necessary, but it is also not something we should look forward too. Since the beginning of time, war has been a part of our society. I think that we have learned to make it a part of our every day life without even realizing it. We have done this by honoring those who have bravely died protecting us, by protesting either for or against the war, and by celebrating our victories and mourning our loses. Without it, we would not be able to evolve and grow. Through war we are able to stand up for our beliefs.

War is not pretty, nor is it ideal, but it is a very real part of our every day life. Even in the purest book such as the bible, goals were achieved through the act of war. God allowed his warriors to fight and win battles so that his name could be glorified. The Lord made a promise to Abraham that he would lead the Jews out of Egypt and into the promised land. This promise was not fully met until many generations later when Moses was in charge and later when Joshua took over. Joshua was told, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them,” (Joshua 1:6, The English Standard Version Bible). Throughout the whole book of Joshua, it talks about different battles that Joshua fought and won when he was conquering the land of Egypt. Before every battle the Lord would tell Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel,” (Joshua 11:6).

If war was really this horrible act that should never be used, then why is it that God allowed Joshua and many other characters from the bible to have such glorious victories? I believe that if war was that terrible, God would have corrected them, just as he corrects all other sins.

So when exactly does a misunderstanding or conflict become much more then just that? When is a state of war declared? What causes a disagreement to lead to such anger and rage?

Maybe this state of war is declared when the rulers see no other option but to stand up with arms. When they feel like they have been disrespected enough and they no longer want to deal with it.

War is not ideal, but is real. War is not pretty, but is has kept nations together.

The English Standard Version Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.