Button vs. Box

Topics: Richard Matheson, Short story, Hermes Pages: 2 (578 words) Published: August 15, 2013
The myth “Pandora” and the short story “Button Button” by Richard Matheson are very similar but also contain many differences; some are their conflict, knowing their capability and the result of their actions. They also didn’t resist their temptation. One comparison between “Pandora” and “Button Button” is the conflict. The conflict in both pieces of literature is the protagonist’s inability to resist their extreme curiosity. Both Pandora and Norma receive two strange gifts. Pandora receives a special box presented by the messenger of the gods, Hermes. With the box she also got a warning to never open it. Making this task a bit harder, Hera the wife of Zeus gave Pandora the gift of curiosity. Curiosity and a mysterious box? Not such a great combination. Pandora tried extremely hard to fight the urge to open the box, she even chained it up and buried it in the ground, and sadly her temptation was to powerful. Norma in “Button Button” had it just a smidge easier, she received a button, and the giver wanted her to push it. Seems simple, but there’s a catch. If she pressed the button someone somewhere in the world whom her and her husband didn’t know would die. Her husband Arthur had no interest in the box, and like Hermes he told her not to push it. She also failed and let her enticement get the best of her, as did Pandora. A contrast between the myth and the short story is how Norma knew what the consequence would be, but Pandora did not. Norma had a very clear offering. If she pressed the button someone in the world would die and she would receive fifty thousand dollars. In Pandora’s case, she received this mysterious wedding gift that she is told not to open, she has no idea what will happen she just knows that she must not open it. So many possibilities of what could happen, who ever said it was something negative? To put it in perspective of “blame”, one could say you couldn’t blame Pandora because it was her gift, and a little curiosity...
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