Monday, April 20, 2009

Explanation: Read after story

I found it interesting the way the Cupid and Psyche story was told by someone so as to make it a frame story. The old woman begins her tale in order to make the young captive woman more at ease in such a terrifying and strange world. She brought the girl back to herself through story. My story starts out the same. I even use the same words for the opening paragraph. I only changed a few of them to update it a bit. The story is also told from another’s perspective. Her name is Jess. She is the young assistant to the Venus character, Sateen. From her position she witnesses the whole affair.
I wanted to make it as believable as possible. I used technology as the force that drives the lovers apart instead of the candle wax. But the evil sisters remain the malignant catalyst that leads to Olette’s, the Psyche character, curiosity. However, I did let the sisters off easy. Their only punishment is they have to live with each other at the end of the story. There are references to other mythologies, as well as the same feeling of a rushed happily ever after ending. All that is past possesses the present.
So the story goes, the big and bad Sateen is getting left behind in the archives while Olette’s career is sky rocketing. She asks her son, Aaron, to destroy Olette’s reputation or at least her heart, much in the same way Venus orders Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with a loser. But when Aaron meets Olette for the first time, under disguise, he is instantly attracted to her and finds himself in quite a bind. His overbearing mother is out of the country at the time, so Aaron decides to date Olette under the alias Logan Hayfield. Just as the night covers Cupid’s appearance so does a fake beard and colored contacts work for Aaron. Another significant difference is the couple does not get married. Trying to keep up with the times, I have them in a committed relationship living together when the jealous sisters scheme to pry the couple apart.
Olette seeks Sateen’s help in contacting Aaron. This is the start to Olette’s tasks. Given the length of the paper, I skipped ahead to the last task. In order to receive Sateen’s help, Olette must pick up a box of beauty products from an apothecary in the Village. Again, the theme of “don’t look” is tossed out there. Olette retrieves the box, but her curiosity is too strong. So for some reason or another, just as Orpheus looks back at Eurydice, Olette peeks into the box. Olette passes out. Aaron saves her just as Cupid comes to Psyche’s rescue.
The big news comes at the end. Aaron must stop his trickster ways, much like Cupid, and focuses on writing greeting cards. Olette stops competing with Sateen by switching careers. The same thing happens in the story when Psyche becomes a goddess so that her mother-in-law can come to respect her. All literature is displaced myth. Our narrator keeps insisting that life isn’t a fairy tale and that elements from the past have no business in the present. But she’s just fooling herself. The present can’t help but replay the past. This is what I have come to learn in my Classical Foundations class.

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