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True Lies in Brice’s Ways with Words

True Lies in Brice’s Ways with Words

In Ways with Words by Shirley Brice Heath we read about the author’s ethnographic study in the South during desegregation. The purpose of Heath’s study is to examine the ways people from different communities in the textile region raise their children. The way the children are raised according to Heath, affects the language development and the way these children learn to read and write in the school setting. In my paper I want to examine the way the church relates to the cultural differences in Roadville and Trackton. Cultural differences have ultimately created two separate learning styles. Reading Heath’s study creates curiosity as to how one book, the Bible, can be translated by two cultures in such differing ways that, “In short, for Roadville, Trackton’s stories would be lies; for Trackton, Roadville stories would not even count as stories” (Heath, 189).

Heath says, “For both Roadville and Trackton, the church is a key institution helping to provide occasion and rationale for their approaches to being parents and to enabling their young to use language” (147). Both groups engage in regular religious activity, the Trackton people meeting every other week for group services, and the Roadville groups meeting at church on Sundays. Both groups meet in mixed age group settings, as well. And both groups believe the Bible is the Word of God. Yet differences exist. Trackton groups do not necessarily meet in a building. “Preachers, men of music, and the best playsong performers claim they cannot stick to written text. Seemingly thoughts which were once shaped into words on paper become recomposed in each time and space.” (233) Trackton preachers and song leaders feel stifled by the wr…

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…ducation makes them unskilled at helping their children do well in school. Heath studied their struggles and identified significant ways to teach these children. As the study closes, we realize that to improve the education of the Roadville and Trackton communities, we would need to change the home environment, the religious traditions, and the culture of the communities to match that of the townspeople. To change the school to meet the needs of the students would not create a long lasting improvement. I for one find difficulty in judging one community as being better than another since each has its own value. Homogeneity seems to be an evil, but one that education in America both supports and at times seems to demand. Perhaps someday we will find a solution.

Work Cited:

Heath, Shirley Brice. Ways with Words. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Creon as the Tragic Hero in Sophocles’ Antigone

Creon as the Tragic Hero in Antigone

This essay will compare two of the characters in “Antigone”, Antigone and Creon, in an effort to determine the identity of the tragic hero in this tale.

To identify the tragic hero in Sophocles’ renowned play “Antigone”, we should first consider both the elements present in Greek tragedies and what characteristics define a tragic hero. Aristotle’s definition of tragedy is: “Tragedy is a story taking the hero from happiness to misery because of a fatal flaw or mistake on his part. To be a true tragic hero he must also elicit a strong emotional response of pity and fear from the audience. This is known as catharsis or purging of emotion.” In most cases the tragic hero begins the play with high status, which is often lost in the exodus of the play. For example, in another of Sophocles’ plays, “Oedipus Rex”, in which Oedipus is the undisputed tragic hero, Oedipus begins the play as an illustrious king and ends as a blind beggar. His plight encourages sympathy from the audience because of the curse that had been on him since he was a child.

Antigone, to whom the play owes its name, is daughter of Oedipus, the former king of Thebes. It would seem that she has a relatively high position for a woman, based on the fact that she has a marriage tie to Haemon, son of Creon, the present king of Thebes.

Antigone, rather than being happy at the plays’ beginning, instead makes her entrance in the opening scene very upset with the order given by Creon not to bury her brother Polynices. Antigone is then caught while burying Polynices and seems almost content with being put to death, “I earned the punishment which I now suffer” (Antigone, 152), though…

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…” In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, edited by Michael J. O’Brien. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.

Heidegger, Martin. “The Ode on Man in Sophocles’ Antigone.” In Sophocles: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Thomas Woodard. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.

Jaeger, Werner. “Sophocles’ Mastery of Character Development.” In Readings on Sophocles, edited by Don Nardo. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1997.

Segal, Charles. Oedipus the King: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993.

Sophocles. Antigone. Exploring Literature: Writing and thinking About Fiction,

Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. Ed. Joseph Terry. New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc, 2001.

Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Trans. Bernard M. W. Knox. New York: Washi ngton Squ are Books, 1994.

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