Anyone who's ever been in any kind of human relationship with anyone knows that compromise is key. Whether it's eating at a home-style buffet that closes by 5 p.m. because that's where Grandma wants to go or sitting through your best friend's mime punk band / drum circle, we all do things we may not want to out of love. Sometimes, though, it works out so that everyone gets what they want.
In many ways, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex epitomizes the Ancient Greek tragedy. The narrative is framed by prophecy; poetic priests foreshadow and omniscient oracles foretell each ruinous event. Past and present collide with catastrophic consequences, raising the eternal question: Is the individual ruled by fate or freewill? (The Ancients seem deleteriously attached to the power of the former.) A chorus of citizens speculates incessantly, often in echo of the audience’s observations.
At its heart, Sherman Alexie's newest collection of stories, War Dances, is an exploration of manhood in the 21st century. His characters struggle with the legacy of their fathers, worry over how to be fathers themselves, and stumble along paths constructed of desire and duty.