Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Home" Front

Today in class, we read the excerpt from Medea that read, "What they say of us is that we have a peaceful time living at home, while they do the fighting in war. How wrong they are! I would very much rather stand three times int he front of battle than bear one child" (Euripides 621). This excerpt reminded me of two contrasting "Home" fronts. By definition, home front is the civilian population and activities of a nation whose armed forces are engaged in war abroad. Men go to war to protect that civilian population in their native country. Their job is to protect. Their job is to allow the people living at home to grow and prosper safely. In comparison, the women at home raising children are protecting their own home front. They must protect their children and maintain a safe environment for them to prosper and grow. Both home fronts have their disadvantages, despite the fact that Medea's task appears easy. Men must fight in combat and risk their lives daily for the masses. Medea, however, must raise children. While the job appears a infinitely simplier, a quote from the Chorus counters such belief. On page 639, the Chorus discusses how those who never had children are generally happier. They won't have to raise a child unsure if they'll turn out good or bad, and, even if they're good, they'll eventually die. Children are just the source of all grief... nice. Anyways, the Chorus emphasizes that while raising children may appear fun and simple, the task can be stressful. Jason may appear noble for defeating great tasks, but Medea is just as noble for raising her two children, who do ultimately cause her grief. Both home fronts are noble of discussion, and while generally different, both can cause agony and ruin.

1 comment:

Iris Mire said...

I do find it notable that the chorus does give a certain equality to the ordeals endured by women in their roles as mothers and the roles of men in war. This could definitely be seen as a sort of "feminist" idea, especially when contrasted with Jason's treatment of Medea.