Icarus – Myth

Context: The informant, JM, talks about the story of Icarus and how he came to hear about the myth, and how it has influenced them.

Text: Icarus – Myth

Interview: Icarus is a Greek mythology character, he is the son of Daedalus. I first heard the story from a friend of mine. In the story, his father built himself and Icarus a pair of wings crafted from feathers threads, and beeswax. He warns him of flying too close to the sun so his wings won’t melt. Icarus ends up flying too close to the sun, melting his wings and causing him to fall to his death. This myth I think shows the stubbornness of kids and how even a parent’s warning will not prevent them from making mistakes. I also think that the story is a great representation of the balance between daring to reach for the stars and acknowledging limitations. To me, the myth has shown me to understand how obeying those older than me is sometimes for the best, acknowledging that they too have made the mistakes they tell me to avoid, demonstrating a sign of caution so I don’t make the same mistakes.

Analysis: The informant’s (JM) connection to the myth of Icarus connects deeply to their belief in obeying and respecting the guidance of their elders. Despite there not being a distinct connection to culture, what can be seen through the informant’s interview is the belief in the consequence of disobedience to elders, connecting with the ideas of personal teachings and personal beliefs. Along with personal teachings are cultural teachings that are common amongst many Hispanic and African families; the elders are wise and teach what should be done. The interview highlights how it is important to obey elders, seeing them as a source of wisdom just as Daedalus is seen as a source of wisdom to his son.