In “Scars,” “On the Way to Delphi,” and “Myth,” the respective authors allude to Sophocles’ “The Legend of Oedipus” to demonstrate that realizations often contradict one’s preconceptions. In “Scars,” Peter Meinke uses the extended metaphor of the Greek tragedy Oedipus to challenge the narrator’s idolatry for his father. As the narrator, “read the riddle of [his] father’s body,” he discovered the imperfections that his indomitable father embodied. “The longest [scar] bolted down from his elbow, finger-thick where the barbered wire plunged in… His tragic knuckles spoke wordless violence in demotic Greek.
” (Comment on quote) During the baseball scene, the narrator accidentally harms his father in the jaw, “dropping my father like a murdered king. ” This scene parallels the myth Oedipus as he strikes down his father Laius unknowingly. The narrator finds himself with a shattered image of his father, which is not as he once perceived. The idealistic image of his father was replaced by scars representing the loss of innocence.
In “On the Road to Delphi,” John Updike uses the legend of Oedipus to examine the variable nature of society and debasement of structure.
The author traces his jaunt on a tour bus in which he explores the same areas as Oedipus once had. The narrator stresses the formerly majestic nature of Delphi, which is contradicted by the depraved nature of the present city. “From these small sites, now overrun by roads and fame… stray factories mar with cement and smoke. ” The author is angered by this dramatic change because his preconceptions were disproved as he explored the tainted status of Delphi.
Furthermore, the narrator comments that the emerging societal perspective fails to account for the aesthetic and intellectual qualities exemplified in the original city of Delphi.
“The lean geology that wants to forget – has forgotten – the myth it bred. ” Updike argues the emergence of industrialization compromises the integrity the city, undermining the narrator’s conceptual view of Delphi. In “Myth,” Muriel Rukeyser uses the legend of Oedipus to illustrate the biased perception about the role of women. The author stresses the inherent strength of women as Oedipus fails to account for women’s influence. “When I asked, What walk on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and the three in the evening, you answered Man. You didn’t say anything about women.
” This simplistic dialogue emphasizes the disregarded nature of women. “When you say Man, you include women too. Everyone knows that… That’s what you think. ” The Sphinx purports that Oedipus preconception that man includes women is erroneous. The author uses the discourse to support the expanding authority of women’s opinion in societal decisions. Rukeyser demonstrates that Oedipus realization destabilizes his original notion that women are a subset within the dominant realm of men. In all, “Scars,” “On the Way to Delphi,” and “Myth,” the authors use “The Legend of Oedipus” to assert that preconceived notions are often disaffirmed.