This isn't really a fanfic. This is actually a paper that I wrote for a Critical Writing and Literature Analysis course at college where we had to pick one of the criticism styles of writing and use it to compare a story to something else. I picked Cultural Criticism where you have to use things like TV, movies, and etc to compare it to the story. The story I picked was Oedipus, technically it's a play by Sophocles, but that's what I chose to do mine on. I decided I would post it here so if anyone wants to read it, here it is.
Another point real quick, it's basically comparing the pride that Oedipus had to the pride Dean has. There are also some other references besides Supernatural in here and those are listed at the end.
Throughout the ages, everyone has been affected by the seven deadly sins. Lust, because we desire someone at certain times and some people are even slaves to sex. Gluttony, because Americans tend to overeat on Thanksgiving every year, and many Americans are even overweight. Greed, because we all want things we can’t have and in some instances are even capable of committing murder to gain what we want. Sloth affects many because people tend to sit around and not exercise, which can go hand-in-hand with the gluttony. People use wrath to get even with someone when they’re angry, even if the person doesn’t necessarily deserve it. At times, everyone is envious of someone else, even over something as stupid as a pair of shoes someone might have that the other doesn’t. The last sin, pride, is probably the most common sin that affects all people. Everyone tends to have too much pride at some point or another and according to one episode of Charmed called Sin Francisco, “Pride is the only sin that cannot be beat.”
Even today, some of our most popular characters in movies and television are plagued by too much pride. Lex Luthor always thinks that every time he comes up with a new plan to destroy Superman that he will win, but he loses because he has too much pride. Then again, Superman turns around and thinks he can save everyone so usually something bad happens to him that weakens him. Only when he overcomes his pride, does he usually save the day. Harry Potter usually wants to fight by himself, but only when he puts his pride aside and lets his friends help, that’s when they are able to defeat Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Faith, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, thinks that just because she’s a slayer, one of the Chosen Ones, she can do whatever she wants. Only when her pride gets in the way and results in the death of a human, she realizes that she was wrong. Unfortunately, her pride is so overpowering, it sends her down a path of darkness. Eventually, her path in life has become so bad, that she finally turns herself around and tries to redeem herself.
Pride goes as far back as Oedipus the King written by Sophocles. Oedipus doesn’t want to believe the prophecy that has him right in the center of it. He is the child that killed his father and married his own mother but refuses to believe it, even when the clues are laid right before his eyes. His own wife, who happens to be his mother, tells him how much he looks like her old husband. Oedipus was even sent away, bound at the ankles, only to be raised by someone else. His ankles are still not perfect and his wife notices, but yet neither of them choose to see what is right in front of their eyes. Oedipus is blinded by his pride, refusing to see that he clearly killed the king. He doesn’t want to believe that he killed the king, because then this would condemn him to death for stating that he would kill whoever was responsible.
Another coincidence is that supposedly Oedipus father was killed at a place where three roads meet. This is considered a crossroads because the roads come together and make the shape of a cross. On the show Supernatural, a crossroads is a place where demon deals are made. A crossroads demon will appear to the person who buries a special box in the middle of the crossroads. The box contains items that come from hoodoo practices like graveyard dirt and the bone of a black cat. Once the person buries the box, the demon appears and makes a deal. A person can ask to bring a loved one back from the dead, money, fame, talent, or practically anything they want. The only catch is that it costs them their soul in a matter of a few years. Usually it is ten years, but if the demon doesn’t feel like the person is all that worthy of ten years, then someone could receive as little time as a year. This has to do with a person having too much pride. The person thinks that when their time is up, they can simply get out of the deal by hiding or using protective items, or that it was just some weird fluke that they got what they had wanted. Unfortunately, hellhounds, which are demonic guard dogs of the afterlife, come and tear them apart, sending their souls to hell to be tortured for eternity. This just goes to show that people are willing to sell their souls and rot in hell when it comes to their pride.
Dean Winchester on the show Supernatural even sells his soul to bring his brother back to life. He is only given one year to live by the crossroads demon because he’s a hunter and most demons want him dead anyways. After he sells his soul and Sam is back to life, Sam tries to get Dean out of his deal, not seeing that his pride is getting in the way. He talks to the crossroads demon that Dean made the deal with, only to learn that another demon, more powerful than the crossroads demon, holds the contract on Dean’s soul. Even after Sam was told that if Dean or him try to get out of the contract somehow, Sam would go back to being dead, but he still kills the crossroads demon with the Colt. Sam’s pride gets in the way of his judgment but luckily, Dean is still alive, even though Sam now knows that they are after someone else. On the other hand, Dean has too much pride to see that in one year’s time, he will be leaving his brother alone with no family members. Dean doesn’t realize what this will do to Sam because he only thought about himself when making the deal to bring Sam back. He didn’t want to live without Sam, even though it would hurt his brother to live without him.
Dean has too much pride to see that in one year he will be condemned to the same fate as the others who were torn apart by the hellhounds. He keeps living his life on the edge and doesn’t care what it does to others. He sleeps with more women, becomes more reckless during hunts, and even eats bacon cheeseburgers for breakfast, stating that he doesn’t have to “sweat the cholesterol,” since he will be dead in one year anyways. Only when he sees himself in a demon way in his dreams, does he realize that he doesn’t want to die. Even when he realizes he doesn’t want to die, he’s not willing to do outrageous things to save himself. Sam is willing to have the both of them become immortal monsters just to still be alive when Dean’s time is up. Dean won’t listen, realizing that what they would become the monster and he would rather die than become something evil, which is what they normally hunt.
However, humans are not the only things affected by pride. Even the angels and demons on Supernatural are infected by it. In the Magnificent Seven episode, the brothers go up against the seven deadly sins. One demon represents pride, and when he bursts into the room, he destroys the devil’s trap on the ceiling so he can’t be contained. He states that he will never bow down before Sam, even though Sam had technically been chosen to lead the demon army that escaped the devil’s gate. The demon that represents pride says, “after all, I have my pride,” when he refers to following Sam and how he won’t do it. The pride demon even states he is the “root of all sin.” Luckily, this demon ends up dead from being killed by a special knife that kills demons. In the end, his pride wasn’t enough to save him, but he isn’t the only demon who is consumed by pride.
Every demon the Winchesters have ever encountered seems to have too much pride. The demons always think they will be victorious in whatever they are doing. When they’re trapped by a devil’s trap, they assume they will be able to get free. Most of the time, demons laugh when they’re tied down to a chair and having holy water thrown on them, which actually burns them. They also laugh at being exorcised from the body they’re in, believing that even if they are sent back to hell, they will claw their way back out and seek revenge. It can take years for a demon to claw their way back out of hell, but these demons have too much pride to ever believe they will lose considering that they think they are better than humans. However, demons are the dark side of beings that have too much pride.
On the opposite side, there are the angels who have too much pride also. They assume that it’s okay to burn out peoples’ eyes if that person looks at their true form. Some angels are even willing to destroy a whole town in order to kill one witch that could break one of the 66 locks that would release Lucifer if all 66 are broken. Castiel, the angel who pulled Dean out of hell, told Dean that he could put him back in hell if he didn’t show some respect. Uriel threatened Sam by telling him that he would turn him to dust the moment Sam’s demon powers become a problem. However, these angels are not perfect either. They can be summoned away by certain rituals and actually become fallen angels, losing their grace if they lose their faith in God. Also, they can be killed just like demons can be. They’re not perfect, but yet they think they are superior because they are angels.
In today’s society, Supernatural is not the only form of media that shows how pride can consume people. In the Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling, Lord Voldemort thinks that pureblood witches and wizards are the best and that any witch or wizard who isn’t, should be killed. In reality, it’s just his pride getting in the way because he isn’t even a pureblood. He’s only a halfblood because his mother was a pureblood who used a love potion on a human in order for him to be in love with her. After she was already pregnant and with this human for so long, she quit using the love potion on him because she knew it wasn’t real. His father ended up leaving and his mother died, leaving Tom Riddle (or Voldemort as he later became known as), to be raised in an orphanage. When he became older, he ended up with followers who believed the same things as he did, although, some of his followers, or Death Eaters, were not purebloods themselves. Voldemort had so much pride; he didn’t even bother to check if he was a pureblood or if his Death Eaters were. Even his most trusted Death Eater, Severus Snape, was only a halfblood. Because Voldemort had too much pride, he didn’t realize that a prophecy about a child, who would be able to destroy him, would bring upon his death. Unfortunately, Voldemort wanted to live forever so he placed pieces of his soul in items called Horcruxes.
Eventually, Voldemort came back with the help of some of his devoted followers and the Horcruxes he had made. Since he had ripped apart his soul so much in order to make Horcruxes, he actually looked similar to a monster, which could be compared to the things he had done in his life. However, after creating so many Horcruxes, one’s soul becomes unstable and can easily rip apart and attach to a living thing when that person uses the Killing Curse. This happened to Voldemort and a piece of his soul made Harry one of his Horcruxes without his knowledge. Thinking that he needed to kill Harry in order to win the war, he actually destroyed a piece of his soul, which actually helped Harry and his friends because they needed all the Horcruxes to be destroyed before they could kill Voldemort. Also, Voldemort didn’t count on Harry being connected to him through blood after Harry’s blood had been used in the ritual to give him a human form. This allowed Harry to come back to his body after Voldemort used the Killing Curse on him. Since Harry had also sacrificed himself for his friends, his death made his friends protected from any of Voldemort or his followers’ spells. The sacrifice of himself for his friends caused a different form of magic, more powerful than that which comes from a wand. In the end, Lord Voldemort was killed and the bad side had been defeated.
All of these characters used in today’s culture goes back to Oedipus, who was so blinded by his pride; he didn’t see that he was right in the center of a prophecy. He thought that because he was the king he had all the power and was perfect. He refused to believe that he could have been responsible for killing the old king, even though all the signs were there. Even in a play as old as this, where pride is the most common deadly sin, it still affects the world that we live in today.
Pride really is the only sin that cannot be beaten. If we overcome pride, it just takes shape in the form of something else. Certain people claim they are the best at something, but really, the best is just considered an opinion. It is only pride that makes people think they are truly the best at something. Therefore, aren’t all opinions slightly based upon pride? Pride is what gets the best of us all, usually causing us to have a downfall or an epiphany of some sort to get over the pride. Unfortunately, pride always comes back, whispering to us in the back of our mind, trying to tell us that we are the best or that we can do it no matter what someone tells us. Pride is our most deadly sin, and no matter how many times we think we don’t have too much pride, that we have beaten the pride, it comes back again.
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