The Trimming: A microscopic narrative

I heard it but didn’t believe it; a loud thump all around. I’m sure it was just something bumping into us. Our leaf was strong, us cells kept it strong. There’s no way it could have happened so soon. Autumn was a distant event in the future, something that bothered us little until it was actually time to pack up shop. Yet here I was, feeling the panic set in. We were homeless, our ship had sunk. Would the mother tree miss us? No, I suppose not it was just a single leaf. But would I be missed? Day after day waking up at dawn and opening the stomata, producing glucose till night fell. Would my efforts be remembered? I don’t know, but I would like to hope that I helped everyone. Perhaps our little leaf hasn’t left though maybe a stem was broken, we can heal that for sure! No… no, I am just giving myself false hope. I feel dry, my membrane is shrinking. I slowly shut down my organelles doing as I was briefed on so long ago, I wonder if I was right to follow all these orders so blindly. The cold hard ground put pressure against my cell wall, this is it.

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The decomposition is remorseless; I feel my entity torn to pieces by alien and mysterious things that dart so quickly here and there. Slowly what’s left of me sinks into the dirt. This is death. I cry for what seems like years, I have nothing and no one.

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With all hope gone suddenly a hard object protrudes into me. Sudden optimism fills me. I feel a force pull me towards this stranger. This is root. I can’t believe it back within the mother tree, I was loved, I was remembered they rescued. Pass old friends who welcome me back. I feel my nutrients surging back through the mother tree. After the months of the cold dirt, the warmth of the mother tree is ecstasy. I’m home.

Thanks for reading, Ross

Is justice determined by society?

The word justice often inspires a picturesque sturdy code of morals and rules that we all must abide by. However this could not be further from the truth, throughout human history justice has changed and morph with our moral standards. I would argue that a man killing his wife for sleeping with another man  has the same authority and moral right as does a judge for sentencing that same man to 20 years in prison. Justice isn’t physical and it exists equally both in the man killing his wife and in the judge sending him to jail. Justice is nothing more than power used to uphold an ideology whether it be ‘my wife only sleeps with me’ or ‘murderers are to be strictly punished’. The civil rights movement showed us that society changes do does justice, a similar civil rights movement by the homosexual community for the right to marry displays society’s views can determine what injustice is to a community as well as justice. These examples show justice changing in a largely positive way (I guess this is a matter of perspective), but this has not always happened however shown by the rising of the Third Reich in Germany and the resulting tragedies. These varying examples of justice changing makes it clear that justice has a fluid and  double-edged blade nature.

Justice can be seen to change as society’s views also change. Justice is entirely based on the community’s code of morals and is simply an enforcing of an agreed ideology. This is true whether the community is New York City or a small farming town. The Civil Rights Movement began with Rosa Park’s refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, a rule that was considered ‘justice’. The purpose of this social change of morals and idea of justice was for equality among races. And once again we see that justice can change on a whim.

Justice can be contagious and can spread amongst different communities. An almost identical plight that the African American community went through is now currently being experienced by the LGBT community for an identical purpose of equality. The civil rights movement had enormous effect of the Western World perception of minorities and changed the United States of America forever. This sympathy for the marginalized people fighting for their rights shows that an idea of justice can be contagious. The ideology of equal justice spread first to the black communities and now to the LGBT community. However this only furthers the cause that justice has to be questioned in order to validates its existence.

Justice’s morphing and changeable nature has been taken advantage of by the mighty and powerful countless times. This influence by leaders on society- and thus justice as well- has had the consequence of ending in the greatest tragedies in humankind. The Holocaust is regularly seen as the defining injustice committed by humans in the modern age. But how is that the Nazis and the German people did not see this and stop themselves? This answer is that justice cannot be utterly trusted. The Third Reich is looked down upon with such repulsion because they exposed the morally bankrupt self centred animals that we are. If it wasn’t the Jews it would have been another minorities to which Hitler would have rallied the Germany people against.

In conclusion, Justice is a double edged blade. The evidence of the civil rights movement and LGBT fight for the right to marry proved that as society changes so does justice and that differing versions of justice can be contagious or can die out. Lastly the example of the Holocaust and the Third Reich showed that justice can be manipulated. Yes, justice is determined by society but this does not imply a democratic system. A version of justice can change at any moment by the power of a charismatic leader (whether it be Martin Luther King or Adolph Hitler). Justice’s changing nature is a powerful feature of human civilisation which is essential to society and but must be approached with caution but not shunned.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Oedipus Rex: An Exploration of Fate and Human Nature

The classical Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex written by the famous Sophocles is the story of Oedipus, a man trapped by fate to murder his father and marry his mother. In Oedipus Rex the audience does not witness Oedipus kill his father or marry his mother but rather we see the downfall of Oedipus as he realises that by avoiding his destiny he has only brought himself closer to ruin. The downfall of the once great king of Thebes was set off by the gods, however it is Oedipus’ own nature that carries him to the dire conclusion of the story. Before King Oedpius’ past was known, he was regarded in greatness as a leader who was swift to act, confidant in his actions, and sought the truth. At the beginning of the play the audience positioned to admire Oedipus and question “who could behold his greatness without envy?”. This greatness turns against Oedipus and through his own obsessing nature, hubris and rash decision Oedipus becomes great no more.

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Oedipus claimed the throne when he defeated the Sphinx that was terrorising the city. Oedipus was given a riddle by the sphinx which he solved using his talent for finding the turh. When Oedipus learns that the key to stopping the plague is finding the murderer of Laius (the previous king and unbeknownst to Oedipus; his father) he dedicates himself to bringing “his death to light.” This investigation only attracts him more when the riddle of his own life becomes the subject. This is the point where Oedipus’ investigative nature becomes obsessive as he digs through his past despite warnings from Jocasta (his wife) that “tis best to live at random”” Ignoring her advice he does discover the truth, that his father was the man he killed long ago and the previous king of Thebes; Laius which of course also means that Jocasta is his mother. The truth brings no comfort to Oedipus who could have avoided the deadly outcome by slowing down and reasoning with himself over the plague decimating Thebes.

When the citizen’s of Thebes beg Oedipus to consult the gods on the plague he proclaims, “You have not roused me like a man from sleep” and that he has already sent his brother-in-law Creon to consult the priests of Apollo. This swift action is an admirable and fitting for a king. Once again this aspect of Oedipus’ greatness also works to unravel his life. This swiftness of character exhibited by Oedipus often becomes rash such as how he killed Laius over a small misunderstanding. This violent rash decision could have been defused by clam rational thinking. Oedipus unfortunately is also afflicted by another aspect of his nature that prevents him from seeing the fault in his actions; Hubris.

The greatest fault in Oedipus’ character is his hubris. Although we can be empathetic towards Oedipus because of his position where “Pride is the germ of kings”,  hubris is still his defining flaw. Once helpful to Oedipus as confidence, such as quick thinking and investigative behaviour were, they are now his bane. Hubris keeps Oedipus from believing the prophet Teiresias’ prophesy or as the soothsayer says to Oedipus “You have eyes but do not see.” At the beginning of the story our fallen hero states, “The world knows my fame: I am Oedipus” which is still true by the end of the text, but carries more negative connotations.

In the conclusion of the play Teiresias is proven to truly be a prophetic with his prediction that Oedipus’ “very greatness proved thy bane.” Sophocles is poetic in how each of Oedipus’ flaws cooperate with each other to bring him his punishment. His rash decisions, arrogance and obsessive nature are the true elements which shackle Oedipus to fate. Oedipus the swift, the truth seeker and the confidant many- from the audiences perspective- been given a cruel punishment, but a nonetheless deserving one. This is the realisation that Oedipus makes which results in the play’s bloody climax of infamous self multilation and physical blinding. Oedipus sees how he has been foolish, rash, obsessive and that the doesn’t even deserve death but to suffer in darkness for all harm he has caused all the people in his tragic life.

Thanks for reading, feedback is welcome.