Family or the State

In the world of One Piece it’s pirates against the Marines. The most interesting thing is that protagonist of the story, Luffy wants to be the pirate king so the marine’s are often shown as the antagonists with few exceptions. In this world often times sins of the father are laid on the shoulders of the son. When the father can’t be reached it is the son that the marine’s go after in a bid to uphold ‘justice’. After all their fathers were ‘demons’, a threat, so clearly the sons are the same. Luffy’s older brother Gol. D Ace was the son of the previous pirate king Gol. D Roger. Once the man was executed there was a manhunt for his pregnant lover so that his unborn child could be killed. Before his execution Roger asked Garp who was Luffy’s grandfather and the only man to have ever come close to catching him to look after his lover and unborn child on the fact that his child was innocent. Ace’s mother who held him in her womb for 20 months out of willpower to protect her son died at his birth from the strain and Garp looked after Ace when he saw that sacrifice.

 Garp stands in front of his grandson Luffy.
“Luffy I consider you my enemy.”
 Luffy punches his grandfather and continues onwards to save his brother Ace.
(One Piece ep.480)

There came a point in One Piece when Ace was to be executed not because he was a notorious pirate in his own right but because he was Roger’s son. And that was bad because clearly he had the blood of a demon running in his veins never mind that Ace denounced Roger as his father and claimed his only father was his captain Whitebeard. This was a difficult position for the man who secretly defied the law despite being a marine and took Ace in. Garp is a vice admiral of the marines and a powerful man. He also loves his adopted grandson Ace but he had to make a decision. Save the boy he saved and saw as his own blood or follow the laws he fought to uphold most of his life. Family or the state? When this battle to save Ace is fought there are many parallels that can be seen between this fictional world and the world we live in today. Despite the marine leaders’ goal to keep the peace and put an end to piracy there is rampant corruption and fanaticism that comes with it. We have that here too. Not just in the United States but also in many other places in the world, corruption runs unchecked and no one does anything about it or whatever they try isn’t enough. Another parallel would be the complacency. In both worlds people are complacent and complacency often times leads to apathy and an incomplete story of what’s really going on.

Iseme: What can I do, wretched one, if things are in this state,
by loosening or tightening the knot
Antigone
See whether you will join in the toil and the deed with me.
Ismene
What dangerous enterprise? What ever are you thinking?
Antigone
Whether you will lift the corpse with this hand?
Ismene
What? Do you intend to perform rites for it, a thing forbidden the city?
Antigone
For my brother, certainly, and yours, if you will not.45
I for one will not be caught betraying him.
(22)
Ismene
Headstrong! When Creon has forbidden it?

In the play Antigone, Antigone tries to convince her sister Ismene to bury the body of their brother Polyneices. Ismene quickly points out that Creon has forbidden this though Antigone says that she will not betray her brother. Creon their  uncle is the king and essentially head of state and he is also harsh. If anyone breaks the law even if it is his family he will punish them, as as often times the punishment was banishment or death he most likely would have executed them. Both girls went through the same thing. The loss of their parents and both brothers in a relatively short period of time and now because one brother is condemned to having his soul wander around because he wasn’t buried is too much for Antigone but Ismene doesn’t want to lose her sister who is all she has left. There is a definite loyalty that each sister has and each sister refuses to budge from. And the both aren’t wrong. But when do they know which loyalty comes first and when to go against the state when they are wrong. Often times loyalty is divided because of separation between family and state and that divisions can lead to tragic situations.

Fatema Islam
Team Jupiter

 

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“Then, Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked. You will Learn Respect, and Suffering Will be Your Teacher.”

 

Television Show: Avatar, The Last Airbender

Season and Episode: Season 1, Episode 12 “The Storm”

Character Focus: Prince Zuko, his father, Fire Lord Ozai and his sister, Princess Azula.

In Relation To: Medea.

Show Description: This is an animation televised on the Nickelodeon Network based around a fictional world where the planet is divided into four nations, each with special earth aligning abilities. It is divided between the Fire Nation, the Water Nation, the Earth Nation and the Air Nation, all with people that are given special ‘bending’ abilities allowing them to control the elements of their alignment. The Avatar can control all elements. The Fire Nation believes that they should be in complete control and they decide to try to wipe out and take control of every other nation because they believe that they are superior. The show focuses on the protagonist, the Young Avatar, Aang and his journey to save the world with his friends along with the parallel story of Prince Zuko, the young teenager that tries to defeat the Avatar because his father has convinced him that it’s the only way to restore his honor, after her banishes him.

Episode Description: In this particular episode of the first season, “The Storm”, there is a terrible storm that has hit and it is a pivotal episode because this storm triggers flashbacks for both Aang and Zuko, both enemies from the beginning with parallel stories of abandonment and  purpose. Aang’s flashbacks make him feel guilty about running away and neglecting the responsibilities of being an Avatar for one hundred years, causing the Fire Nation to start and win the war; while Zuko’s flashbacks are of his father punishing him for speaking out against his grandfather in the father’s room and presence. He punishes Zuko by forcing a father and son duel, Zuko refuses to fight and Ozai permanently scorches and scars his eyes with fire and banishes him from the kingdom.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” has always had underlying themes of war scattered throughout every episode and every setting that the characters ever dwell in. It’s in the dialogue, the setting and also laced heavily in flashbacks. One character in this episode says, “I guess I might have just imagined the last one hundred years of wars and suffering.” This particular episode was an episode that dealt with a lot of flashbacks, so the audience got to peer into the dynamics of the start of the war, and the people that controlled the war, not just the people on the receiving end. Looking at the dynamic of the Fire Nation, it is very similar to European Imperialism and it is showed in the imagery and setting throughout the entire show, like a divided a world in the title sequence and the Fire Nation flag hanging over other nations as a sign of conquer. They both deal with a world power wanting to dominate weaker nations to benefit off of them and remain the most powerful. It shows how a need for a resource can turn into greed at any moment and that when a little taste of victory is won, it is very easy for a nation to become power hungry.

The effects of imperialism still exist strongly within the world today, and now the goal is to subtly maintain power in the world. America has rose as a nation and unfortunately to stay on the top of the world, the requirements are to maintain some control over the rest of the world, whether it be military bases, territories or the media. As someone that grew up on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago, I always watched American television. It was what was shown in nearly every household in my country, even American news would talk priority over the news of my own country. American media circulates the world and I think that shows a very subtle bit of power that is injected into multiple countries so that the world, whether consciously or subconsciously, engages and submits to American culture, standards and social norms.

Besides the global issues, the ideas of domestic violence has always been a struggle that society has had to deal with as a whole. Each nation throughout time has had to deal with the problems of domestic violence within the individual home and the problems of abuse, neglect and revenge. There’s often been so many instances where parents have taken out their stress and feelings of anger on children, minds that aren’t fully develop enough yet to deal with the wrath of an angry parent.

In ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender” in this specific scene that I am focusing on, Prince Zuko has spoken out to his grandpa in his father’s war room.  Prince Zuko’s father is the son of the fascist man that started the war with the other nations. I would even go so far as to comparing Fire Lord Sozin, (Zuko’s grandfather) to Hitler, it would not be surprised if the attitude of that character was modeled after any fascist ruler. In the war room, Fire Lord Sozin was speaking about using an entire faction of new soldiers in his troops as a decoy to distract an enemy while the more experienced soldiers snuck in from the rear. Prince Zuko spoke out against his grandfather and said that to sacrifice all of the new soldiers on the front lines without their knowledge is an act of betrayal. It was true what he said, and it showed that Zuko, even as a kid, understood empathy, a very important characteristic of his, extremely important to his growth in the show. Zuko’s grandfather and father were disrespected and so his father challenged him to a fight where Zuko refused to fight the man that created him. Before burning Zuko’s eye, his father says, “You will learn respect, and suffering will be your teacher.” It’s something that even my father says to me now, the idea of learning from experiences that you’re told will be painful. But not everyone experiences life the same way, and suffering is not always the teacher, nor does it mean that it’s the parents job to inflict suffering on a child just because they were taught harshly by their reality.

The troubles that must come mentally with being a fascist ruler is grand, and to take that out on your son is terrible. Ozai permanently scarred Zuko’s eye and banished him from the kingdom, sending him on what he thought was an impossible mission, awaiting his failure. While this happens, Zuko’s sister, Azula watches on with a sick smile on her face, stifling a laugh. Similarly, Medea has taken out her vengeance with her husband on her kids. After committing the act of murder on multiple people around her, she has finally indulged in the ultimate act of revenge, killing her own children. Like Azula, Medea has no sense of remorse or human feelings of regret and empathy.

Children are developing seeds that need to be nourished and filled with vitamins, not hatred. Children are not born with feelings of animosity in their hearts and are so symbolic of innocence. Her act of killing them extended beyond revenge, it turned into self-hatred, like Zuko’s father let his own cruelty poison his child.  She let the hate turn her heart so cold that she could not see the beauty in her own products, only the side of them that she didn’t want to see and the pain that she knew it would cause their father. Madea, like Ozai, did not care about the outcome of the child. She did not care about their futures, or the fact that they were kids. No matter what, a parent should never take out their anger on a child, especially if the situation that caused the anger was not directly inflicted by that child, whether that be in fiction or modern day. Children now still deal with the issues of a parent’s misdirected anger and it’s the leading cause of child depression and child abuse. It can cause much more harm to a child because their brains cannot fully make sense of things, only the idea of hatred that they’ve put onto themselves. They begin to blame themselves for the way that their parent has treated them. Their ideas of love become warped and they’ve lost a sense of their innocence because it is robbed by a selfish adult that has experienced hardship and decides to inflict that hardship on a child and possibly ruin a portion of that child’s life, or his/her life forever.

 

#Medea #TheLastAirbender #CLAS2 #TEAMAPHRODITE #Longlongagoandfarfaraway #Elsewhere #Euripides #Euripides’Medea

A 100 Years Later and Still No Advancement

In today’s world there are several social issues one being rigid divided lines between certain countries. Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and several more countries are some examples of the divided groups. People today in some areas have a very hard time accepting other crews and nationalities because they don’t learn and understand from the past. While there have been improvement from 100 years ago it still is not enough. What about another hundred years from now?

In this scene from the show the 100, one can see the clans fighting each other to the death to decide who get to survive the next round of world radiation. In the show a constant issue is the division of the clans; the setting for this show is in the future after a nuclear war and in North America a several clans have survived. There are over twelve different groups and only rarely do they get along.. The people from the sky come down and with their technology are viewed as the new enemy. With this setting it is back to times with no electricity, plumbing, and basically everyone is a barbarian. This is a contemporary issue in the fact that today there are several groups, from the more underdeveloped areas, who don’t get along and are alway at eachother’s throats. At the end of the episode the winner announces that there will not be just her clan in the bunker but all the clans. The issue remains that there isn’t enough to hold everyone, so each group must select 200 from their crew; those who are selected will become part of a the one new clan. In the play Medea, Medea is able to get away with her actions because Athens will accept her and she is protected. The setting helps her survive she is able to avoid consequences because she can get to a new place. Greece is a united country but the towns are in a way their own clans. Her original “crew” Corinth can not punish her so long she stays in her new “crew” Athens. In the play Aegeus, King of Athens, tells Medea,” if on your own you come to my home, you will remain there under protection and I will not deliver you up to anyone,” (Euripides, line 728). In the show it is different though because if one is banned from a clan or dishonors them no clan will accept them. Both of these settings are very similar because in the background of the 100 one can see massive pillars which look a lot like Greek architect; this also relates to the contemporary issue when groups fight or don’t get along that things get destroyed. Also in both the play and the show the killing is very gruesome and there isn’t technology like today. So the 100 has drawn from Greek culture and done a spin off of it which is very interesting. In the end both the play and the show have the contemporary issue of group divisions and the effect it can have on the world; in Medea a murder can live free and in the 100 it can be the downfall of mankind.- Emma