Curiously, Hamilton reports, ODAP "affects different people, different sexes, and even different age groups in different ways. It even affects people within those age groups differently …. The one constant about ODAP poisoning, however, very simply put, is this: those who will be hit the hardest are always young men between the ages of 15 and 25 and who are essentially starving or ingesting very limited calories, who have been engaged in heavy physical activity, and who suffer trace-element shortages from meager, unvaried diets."
Had McCandless’s guidebook to edible plants warned that Hedysarum alpinum seeds contain a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis, he probably would have walked out of the wild in late August with no more difficulty than when he walked into the wild in April, and would still be alive today.
The Shield of Achilles can be read in a variety of different ways. One interpretation is that the shield is simply a physical encapsulation of the entire world. The shield’s layers are a series of contrasts – i.e. war and peace, work and festival, although the presence of a murder in the city at peace suggests that man is never fully free of conflict. Wolfgang Schadewaldt, a German writer, argues that these intersecting antitheses show the basic forms of a civilized, essentially orderly life. This contrast is also seen as a way of making “us…see [war] in relation to peace." The shield’s description falls between the fight over Patroclus’ body and Achilles’ reentry into battle, the latter being the impetus to one of the poem’s bloodiest parts. Consequently, the shield could be read as a “calm before an impending doom,” used to emphasize the brutality of violence during the Trojan War. It could also be read as a reminder to the reader of what will be lost once Troy ultimately falls.
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