Many Greek legends and tales teach the futility of trying to outmaneuver an inexorable fate that has been correctly predicted. This form of irony is important in Greek tragedy, as it is in Oedipus Rex and in the Duque de Rivas' play that Verdi transformed into La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") or Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey, or in Macbeth's uncannily-derived knowledge of his own destiny, which in spite of all his actions does not preclude a horrible fate.
Other notable examples include Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, in which Tess is destined to the miserable death that she is confronted with at the end of the novel; Samuel Beckett's Endgame; the popular short story "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs.
Destiny is a recurring theme in the literature of Hermann Hesse (1877–1962), including Siddharta (1922) and his magnum opus, Das Glasperlenspiel, also published as The Glass Bead Game (1943). The common theme of these works involves a protagonist who cannot escape a destiny if their fate has been sealed, however hard they try. Destiny is also an important plot point in the hit TV shows Lost, Heroes and Supernatural, as well a common theme in the Roswell TV series. Destiny is a recurring theme in the video-game franchise Kingdom Hearts, with Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep having its story based around the concept of Destiny, and the tagline for the game stating "Destiny is never left to chance." Destiny is also a prominent factor in the anime Mawaru-Penguindrum, which focuses on the concept that humans cannot escape from their own fate.
The concepts of fate and destiny are highly relevant in adoption. Judith and Martin Land, Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child, (2011), page XI, describe the destiny of orphans as a lifetime of squalor, poverty, and crime because most European law reflects an aversion to adoption. Baby farming in the Victorian era was the taking in of a child for payment, but baby farmers were often unscrupulous and many orphans suffered neglect and death. Eventually, adoption became a quintessential American institution, embodying faith in social engineering and mobility. In the modern era, adoptees seeking reunification with biological antecedents are spiritually challenged to know if their willful participation in pivotal events can alter their destiny to create a more positive outcome for themselves. Conversely, individuals pessimistically believing their fate is predetermined and unalterable seldom initiate these types of reunions due to the acute psychological trauma of parental rejection and abandonment suffered in childhood.
Read more about this topic: Destiny
Other articles related to "literature":
... of the Earth in his novel American Pastoral, including the work in a long list of revolutionary literature that the protagonist's daughter reads ...
... Like Manners' England's Trust and Plea for National Holy-days (1843), George Smythe's Historical Fancies (1844) earnestly imagines a revival of feudalism, but the solutions both Manners and Smythe offer for industrial disorder are, in spite of the increasingly urban character of Victorian society, chiefly agrarian ... Disraeli's trilogy Coningsby (1844), Sybil (1845), and Tancred (1847) details the intellectual arguments of Young England while showing an informed sympathy for England's poor ...
... matter came from legends, mythology, and literature ... Longfellow, like many during this period, called for the development of high quality American literature ... In Kavanagh, a character says We want a national literature commensurate with our mountains and rivers.. ...
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... One Canada Square previously appeared in the Virgin Missing Adventures novel Millennial Rites in which the top floor was the headquarters of a yuppie who inadvertently turned London into a "dark fantasy" kingdom in which he was a powerful sorcerer, with the tower as his citadel and the Past Doctor Adventures novel The Time Travellers, in which it was the headquarters of the British Army in an alternate timeline ... One Canada Square also features prominently in an early issue of the Grant Morrison comic series The Invisibles, in which Dane MacGowan is encouraged to jump from the top by his mentor, Tom O'Bedlam, as an initiation rite that will allow him to see beyond reality and join The Invisibles. ...
Famous quotes containing the word literature:
“All men are lonely. But sometimes it seems to me that we Americans are the loneliest of all. Our hunger for foreign places and new ways has been with us almost like a national disease. Our literature is stamped with a quality of longing and unrest, and our writers have been great wanderers.”
—Carson McCullers (19171967)
“[The] attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and ... often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it.”
—Václav Havel (b. 1936)
“Lifes so ordinary that literature has to deal with the exceptional. Exceptional talent, power, social position, wealth.... Drama begins where theres freedom of choice. And freedom of choice begins when social or psychological conditions are exceptional. Thats why the inhabitants of imaginative literature have always been recruited from the pages of Whos Who.”
—Aldous Huxley (18941963)