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How significant are outside influences onour decisions to commit ourselves to an action?

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  • Essay length: 1038 words
  • Submitted: 04/03/2005
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How significant are outside influences on our decisions to commit ourselves to an action?

To illustrate the timeless issues involved in this question and suggest an answer, I have chosen to examine two characters and influences on their actions in Fly Away Peter, written by David Malouf in 1981 and Antigone, based on a Greek myth, and written by Jean Anouilh in 1944. Together, these two texts, although separated by cultures and years, show that the actions of main characters from the two novels are influenced by different factors to varying degrees. Many influences on our decisions come from within, in the case of Antigone and Jim. Other pressures stem from outside, good examples being the death of Oedipus and his sons thrusting Creon into the throne and the expectations on Ashley Crowther. Additional cases may be found where outside influences seemingly have no effect on the decisions of characters, as visible in the actions of Creon's guards.

Antigone and Jim Saddler are both characters whose influences to act come from within. Antigone's morals cause her to feel obligated to bury her brother Polynices, whilst Jim's nature leads to his involvement in the Great War. Both Antigone

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