I really can’t find some texts interesting. For some reason, I think it’s when I’m unable to immerse myself in a world of literature that a text becomes a tough read. Reading the Genesis was like when I tried to read “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” at too early of an age, it just didn’t appeal to me at all (And I haven’t tried to read Huck Finn since). A lot of it can be attributed to the religious factor, which I simply cannot find even remotely interesting. While I do have relatively religious grandparents, religion in my family died off, and my attitude has been one of indifference. While I’ve always had respect for a lot of religions, it’s just something which never truly grasped me, similarly to Genesis.

From the very start, a book which begins with God just flicking his magical hands around, creating everything in sight just seems ridiculous to me. I know this might sound strange but, I want explanations! It’s something which I had to put aside for my reading of this text, I just simply had to accept that God would do whatever he wanted, however he wanted, without having to explain anything to anyone. The way it portrays him, God seems like the ultimate being. Yet he also seems relatively powerless in some ways. Humanity and mankind continuously become corrupt, and even if God tries to wipe his slate clean (with a huge flood or some other magically conjured natural event), mankind still continues to have evil tendencies. To me it just seems like God built an ant farm, and as soon as the ants began exploring a bit, God decided to stick his pudgy finger in between the glass.

Certain aspects bothered me so much, that I just found the Genesis tough to chug through. While following the journey of Abram was relatively a bit more interesting, I still never became attached to any of the characters. I also really disliked the whole general feeling of clutter. The text is filled with events, characters, and actions which often are completely unexplained. This point really goes back to the one I made in the first paragraph, about how God is just an omnipotent being, yet somehow his ant farm experiment goes awry. As you can probably see by now, I really didn’t enjoy Genesis in the slightest. I’m definitely hoping our lecture on Monday can help me see things a bit differently, and maybe appreciate some of the hidden qualities of this old religious text.


Euripides’s Medea is a story which really highlights a lot of dark traits within humans. It’s difficult to find a protagonist in the story. While at first I thought it was Medea, because I felt sympathy for her, but as the story progressed, and she sought out her revenge, I slowly began to think of Jason as the protagonist. I felt like Euripides left the viewer (he intended it to be performed as a play) caught between these two sides, forced to pick one. Jason was doing his best to look out for his children, while Medea is completely left out in the cold, alone, without support.

While Medea’s actions could be categorized as an overreaction, Jason’s can definitely be seen as selfish and driven by a desire to be accepted. While we could try and answer the question “Who is wrong?”, it seems like everyone is wrong in a way. That’s what makes this play very realistic, there’s no righteous and pure character. Jason is an oathbreaker, betraying the love of his life without even blinking. On the other hand, Medea not only murders Jason’s future wife, she murders her own children, taking the lives of maybe the only innocent characters of this play.

While there’s plenty to think about regarding the play, I definitely liked it. The interaction with the chorus was very interesting, and I liked how at a certain point the chorus wasn’t just cheering on Medea. When she brought up the idea of killing her children, the chorus took the other side, trying to convince her that maybe murdering her children wasn’t the best idea. Another aspect of the play I really enjoyed was how Medea and Jason truly argued with words. We got to see both sides, Jason’s reasons, as well as Medea’s emotions reflecting her abandonment.

I think Euripides wrote this very much to make people think. To make them think of what humans are possible of when put under pressure. He wanted to show the monstrosity behind Medea’s actions, but especially the monstrosity behind Jason and all the others who rejected Medea. There was one thing however that I didn’t like very much, it was the way Medea is able to escape. Using Helios’s chariot as a free escape left me a little unsatisfied. I wanted to see repercussions regarding Medea’s actions. In the end, I guess I was left wanting more.

The Odyssey

Starting the Odyssey was quite a daunting task. I’ve never adventured into Greek literature of any kind, and my knowledge of Greek gods is limited at best. Yet as I read Homer’s great tale, the wide range of characters slowly began to grow on me, some which intrigued me, others which I disliked, and a select few which I liked. Ultimately it’s the characters which bring a story alive, and Homer’s tale is filled with a diverse cast of humans, gods, and other mythical creatures.

Right from the start of the book, a certain line stuck with me. It was Zeus, showing distate in the way mortals blamed and almost relied on the Gods, it starts on page 78, “Ah how shameless-the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone, they say, come all their miseries, yes, but they themselves, with their own reckless ways, compound their pains beyond their proper share”. This quote has to be my favorite of The Odyssey. It shows that while the gods are… gods, they still have very human qualities. Zeus is almost annoyed at how the humans blame him, and he looks upon them as a squabbling group of children. From this quote, I began to understand that gods weren’t just benevolent entities filled with joy and kindness, each and every god had a deeper and more intricate personality, with their own principles and tempers. And so it isn’t just Telemachus, Odysseus, and other humans who are key characters throughout the story, the gods are part of the cast which makes this book so layered.

It’s from here that I slowly began to dislike a lot of the gods. With the exception of Athena, Hermes, and a few others, most gods are pretty selfish beings. Poseidon is only disturbed when he has to take vengeance for his murderous Cyclops son, and Zeus, while he shows some interest in protecting Odysseus and Telemachus, I always felt like he could’ve done more. And that’s not even starting to talk about Calypso, Circes, and some of the other nasty gods who trifled with Odysseus’s journey back home. It ultimately seemed like most of the gods were a pretty selfish bunch, not too worried about justice, or about interfering with human problems.

While I complain about the gods, Athena does really shine bright throughout the book. Like a straight-A student, she doesn’t seem to make a wrong move as she is always there to help out Telemachus, and later on Odyssues. Furthermore, one of my favorite things about the book was the fact that Odysseus built his bed from a tree. It showed how at the very foundation of everything in his life, is the love he shares with his wife. After all the toils and hardships he had to endure, at the end of the day he could return home, and crawl back into his bed, with his adoring wife. It’s almost as if it shows what he’s been surviving and fighting for, because at the center of it all, is the love of his life, Penelope, and that will never change.


Hi everyone, my name is Niccolo Conte. I was born in Los Angeles, California, where I spent most of my childhood. When I was 10, my family moved to Dallas, Texas for a few years before finally coming to Vancouver. Both my parents are Italian, and every summer I visit my extended family and friends in Italy. I love watching old movies (and new movies too), playing video-games, and following soccer. I listen to almost all types of music, and I enjoy playing the piano. I’ve always wanted to become a writer of some type, whether it be journalist, or a full on novel writer, but I’m definitely open to a lot of different careers.

I can’t wait for this course to get rolling and to meet all of you!