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
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Famous quotes containing the word literature:
“Views of women, on one side, as inwardly directed toward home and family and notions of men, on the other, as outwardly striving toward fame and fortune have resounded throughout literature and in the texts of history, biology, and psychology until they seem uncontestable. Such dichotomous views defy the complexities of individuals and stifle the potential for people to reveal different dimensions of themselves in various settings.”
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“The desire to create literature leads to frights, grunts, and coy looks.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)
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—Carson McCullers (19171967)