Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Rick Riordan and classical epic
I love the Percy Jackson series. I love what it did for introducing kids to classical mythology, I love Percy and Annabeth so much as characters, and I love the cabin system of sorting kids. However, I am really interested in how Riordan took the content of classical epic (gods, battles, mythical creatures, heroics), and infused them with what is, in essence a very modern story of a misfit kid struggling to fit in and find out what he’s good at. Does Riordan borrow from epics like the Odyssey or the Aeneid in terms of style or characterization, or only in providing the window-dressing for what is just any other YA tale? Specifically, I’d be interested in seeing a character comparison of Odysseus and Percy Jackson, and ways that they are similar or contrasted, whether directly or indirectly in the series.
Memento & Law Abiding Citizen
I recently watched both of these films, and I am really interested in how they might relate to each other, and what they say about individual justice. Both films involve a dark, complicated, rather twisted pursuit of revenge by someone whose wife was murdered and is failed by the law. In Law Abiding Citizen, the protagonist is brilliant, analytical, and always miles ahead of everyone else, until the last scene. However, in Memento, you pity the protagonist, because he seems very helpless and manipulated by those around him, until the very last scene, where he asserts his autonomy. It would also be interesting to look at how favorably the film portrays each man’s brutal pursuit of justice, whether in how disturbing the inciting moment is, or how sympathetic their character is. To what extent is this personal pursuit of justice permissible, or even admirable? What does it do to the people who try to carry it out?