Antigone vs. Pai

Topics: Whale Rider, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Thing Pages: 3 (904 words) Published: October 19, 2012
Some Things Never Change
There are many examples of past ideas and controversies that have arose once again in modern day situations. Although a lot of controversies get resolved, many do not and end up arising again. A great example of this comes from the play Antigone by Sophocles and the film Whale Rider by Niki Caro. In both the film and the play, a woman of royal decent is going against a leader for what she feels is right. Although Antigone dies in the end of Antigone, Pai from Whale Rider convinces the leader and lives a happy life. Pai and Antigone were very similar characters because of the problems they faced. First, Pai and Antigone were both women who stood up to a male-led society. Second, they were both listened to by the gods while the leader was not. Finally, they were both willing to die for what they felt was right.

Both Pai and Antigone stood up to something they did not believe was right. As it turns out, both the things they stood up to were male-led societies. In Antigone, the king says to his son, “And no woman shall seduce us. If we must lose, let's lose to a man, at least! Is a woman stronger than we?” (792). The king is saying that he does not want to lose to a woman. He believes that men are stronger than women and does not want to be embarrassed by losing to Antigone. In Whale Rider, Pai stood up to her grandfather and one time he got angry and said, “You have broken the tapu of this school...The knowledge that's been passed down from your ancestors... from my grandfather to me, to those boys...It's broken!” (34) The leader is yelling at Pai for learning something only the boys are supposed to know. This is because the leader is trying to find the next leader and he thinks that it can only be a boy. Although both Antigone and Pai stood up to something much bigger than them, there is something that helped them along the way.

Since Antigone and Pai both stood up to something with much more power than them, they needed help....

Cited: WhaleRider. Dir. Niki Caro. Perf. Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene,
and Vicky Haughton. Alliance, 2002.
Sophocles. Antigone. Prentice Hall Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless
Themes. Ed. Kate Kinsella, et al. Upper Saddle River: NJ, 2002. 772-808.
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