A community can be defined as a social unit of people or any other living things that share common characteristics. These include things like norms, believes, cultures and their identity. One community differs from another based on these characteristics. There are various universal points which have been formulated upon which a society is made distinct from another, lining out the similarities and the differences. This paper aims at discussing the similarities between the communities depicted on the books; Beowulf, Hamlet, Things Fall Apart, and, The Things They Carried. The similarities that will be discussed will focus on the political setting of the community, the experiences of the people and the gender roles shown in the various literature.
The first similarity among the books is the nature of the political systems. Each community has a form of leadership with ranks from the head to the bottom. Safe for The Things They Carried, the other literature adopts a monarchial political system. They are led by kings who are the heads of the kingdom and in whom all authority comes from. King Claudius in Hamlet, for Example, sends seals which should not be open and is to be followed so for it is his authority.
The other similarity is the experiences the people in the stories have. It is a common thing that each faces fate which determines their destiny. Hamlet sought to revenge his father's death by killing King Claudius, an act which also led to his death (Murray, 2017). Okonkwo adamantly sticks to their culture, forgets rationality, morality and resist change. When people turn in to the white missionaries, he hangs himself because he can't bear to give in. O'Brien narrates of Cross who is moved by the deaths of his soldiers and finally decides to forget his college girlfriend he held so dearly and concentrate on what is essential (O'Brien, 2009). Beowulf if terrorized by a dragon which forces him to fight back as the hero he is. He finally is bruised and dies but after killing the dragon. Thus all these were victims of the fate that befell them.
The other similarity is on the gender roles in the communities and gender biases against women. It is apparent that in all these communities, men are the ones responsible for the security and the wellbeing of society. Men are also the head leaders of every community. Okonkwo is the leader of the Umuofia clan; Hamlet is a prince and Claudius is the king, Beowulf is the king of Geats, and Jimmy Cross is the Lieutenant of the troops in Vietnam, all these leaders are men. They all protect their communities like Okonkwo trying to fight the white, Cross is on the war in Vietnam, Beowulf fights against the dragon for his people, and Hamlet defends his father through death vengeance. Women are hardly mentioned in most of the stories indicating that these communities are gender biased.Finally, the communities believe in superstitions. In Beowulf, the kingdom is attacked by a dragon which I real life faced extinct long ago (Heaney, 2009). Hamlet believes in the ghosts of his father to be guiding him on his murderer. When locusts invade Okonkwo's clan, they think that Ikemefuna, Okonkwo's adopted child should be killed for he is the cause (Bloom, 2009). Locusts are a natural disaster which has nothing to do with the adoption of children - this belief in omens oracles which are all superstitions.
In conclusion, the Beowulf, Hamlet, Things Fall Apart, and The Things They Carried are characterized by several similarities. All the stories have distinct political settings with ranks from head to bottom and men being the leaders. All the communities are also gendered biased against women and believe in superstitions. Finally, the fate of the characters in the communities determines their destinies as illustrated above.
Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2009). Chinua Achebe's Things fall apart. Infobase Publishing.
Heaney, S. (2009). Beowulf. Faber & Faber.Murray, J. H., & Murray, J. H. (2017). Hamlet on the holodeck: The future of narrative in cyberspace. MIT press.O'brien, T. (2009). The things they carried. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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