Sunday, January 31, 2010

#46 The Iliad by Homer

There are names for women like Helen of Troy, and by the tenth year of a most bloody and unceasing war, she has called herself every one. Every day, men have their limbs slashed, eyes gouged, throats cut, skulls smashed and corpses defiled, all because of her. The war starts when she, already married to Menalaus of Sparta, ran away with Paris of Troy. The Greeks launch a thousand ships to get her back. When the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus get involved, it quickly turns into a battle between the mortal and immortal: an unfair match. All this fuss over one woman. She’s beautiful, yes, but can she cook?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#45 The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Long before Maury Povich came on the scene to reveal paternity, people just had to take the mother’s word for it. The problem in this novel is that Hester Prynne isn’t talking. Her husband cannot be the father of her child, because he is thought to be two years at the bottom of the sea. Rather than leave the confines of her strict Puritan town, she stays and is forced to wear the letter “A”, for “adultery”, upon her chest. So who is the father? One who speaks eloquently about the Heavenly Father, and who suffers unimaginably in hypocrisy and shame. His secret letter “A” is the agony within his heart.