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World literature Survey with a focus on the social interaction theme

Social interaction refers to an exchange between two or more people and is regarded as a building block for a community. The transfer can be between groups of two, referred to as dyads, and three, termed triads, or more prominent social groups. Through social interactions, individuals formulate the rules and regulations, institutions, and systems by which they wish to live and abide. In such societies, symbols are used to communicate the expectations of a given group to new individuals. In this essay, we will focus on social interaction as a motivating factor and how it was addressed by Aristotle, Dante, and Sappho.

According to Aristotle, the city-state and political rule are natural. He contends his stand by the use of schematic and quasi-historical analysis and accounting for the development of the city-states out of the more straightforward societies. He at first notes that people combined in groups because they exist while apart was nearly impossible. While a man and woman came together for reproduction, the master and their slaves joined for self-preservation. In truism, the natural master employed his intellectual nature to dominate while the natural slave used his body to offer labor. Consequently, the native households were established by primitive societies with the aim of meeting the day-to-day necessities. Lastly, these households came together due to social needs; there was the emergence of villages, which was a result of nature. A complete community, substantially formed by a combination of several villages, tends to attain a limit of self-sufficiency. A community comes into existence for the sake of life, and its presence is for good experience (Clayton).

Aristotle also explains that a happy life designed for a human being by nature is one that is lived according to virtue. He further assesses the role that politics and the political society ought to play in bringing about a virtuous life in the citizenry. He also provides an analysis of the types of political communities that existed in his era and indicates where and how the cities were short of the ideal and “perfect” society of virtuous people. Despite the fact that, to some extent, there are advancements beyond his ideas, for instance, his concept regarding the inferiority of women as well as his view of slavery in some circumstances, philosophy by Aristotle remains significant and up-to-date (Miller).

Dante also had his view regarding social interactions. He uses comic relief to deliver on what, according to him, should be a proper relation of individual cities, states, or kingdoms to an empire, as well as the separate and distinct roles of secular and ecclesiastical authority. In each of the frameworks Dante discusses, every cantina is a representation of a different but related concept of the human community. He terms an ideal society as a paradise when it has all of its essential factors working harmoniously. A purgatory society is one that is in transition from self-centeredness towards one that is concerned with and committed to others but has yet to be organized in an efficient structure. He further regards society as hell in situations where all its members are for themselves rather than acting toward a common good (Collins).

In a hell sort of society, the souls tend to be condemned not only for their selfish motives and agendas but also because of the impacts of their deeds on other individuals. According to Dante, civic people should be responsible for their actions as well as their results and effects. He presents men and women of prestigious nature and power who were in a position to influence and impact others both directly and indirectly but failed to do so. Dante argues that the violence, suffering, and anarchy of Hell are an effect of the failure of individuals to perform their duties and responsibilities or their direct abuse and preceding of such obligations. He contends that greed for money, pleasure, and power, as well as selfishness, are the root of all injustices reigning in Hell, while he perceives charity as the Hell and source of justice operating in Heaven (Ferrante).

Odyssey also addresses social interaction in detail. It uses an insignificant character, Homer, to deliver an essential theme. While the lower-class characters take up small roles, they depict the functions of the poor in the Ancient Greek community as well as the flaws and problems present in both the lower and upper sections of society. In truism, the more depressed class individuals have little and minimally felt impacts, and their voices are considered invaluable as compared to the more prominent, well-established, and wealthy individuals in society. The influential people often disregard and discredit the lower-class citizens, and at times, they suffer punishment when they are out of line (Helper).

However, these characters work outside the text to deliver the core themes in the play, depicting the level of cruelty meted to them by the upper class and the absence of justice for the poor citizens in a community. The characters also bring to light the social problems and concerns that may not be directly present in the Odyssey. Some of the lower class individuals are given real and authentic voices, which are used to indicate the hospitality and right attitude of individuals in that segment (Whittaker).

Conclusively, the above individuals address the theme of social interaction by relating the various concerns present in the community. There is a comparison of the lower and upper-class citizens as well as their character and attitude towards one another. While they try to explain how dependence came about, leading to the formation of households, villages, societies, and cities or states, they also show the relationship among the citizens.

Works Cited

Clayton, Edward. “Aristotle: Politics.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A Peer Reviewed Source (n.d.). Essay.

Collins, Matt. Dante’s Divine Comedy in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance art. 2018. Essay.

Ferrante, Joan. The Corrupt Society. n.d. Print.

Helper, School Work. “Upper & Lower Class in Homer’s Odyssey.” School Work Helper (2017). Essay.

Miller, Fred. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2017. Print.

Whittaker, Helene. “GENDER ROLES IN THE ODYSSEY.” Essay. n.d.



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