Donnie Darko vs. Oedipus Rex Essay

2268 Words May 11th, 2011 10 Pages
Greek tragedies were often seen as the foundation to literature not only for the Greeks but also on a universal scale as well. Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex was one of the more infamous tales because of its provocative and unorthodox nature. The tragedy features a man on a quest to prevent the events of his prophesized life from coming to fruition. The key components of fate, destiny and time can be paralleled to the cult classic film Donnie Darko. In the movie, Donnie suffers from predictions of the future in his own variation of time travel, as a repercussion he has been “chosen” to rectify the past in order to preserve what is to come.
Between the two pieces of text, destiny and fate greatly affect the outcome for both of the
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Donnie has to suffer the knowledge that his death would be the only way to prevent the cataclysmic incidents like that of Ashton Kutcher’s character Evan Treborn in The Butterfly Effect. He too understood his role in life was apocalyptic as soon as he was conceived. When Donnie ran into Grandma Death she whispered to him that “All things die alone,” (“Donnie Darko”) it can be seen just how tragic and miserable his life was going to be. After assessing the whole film, it can be realized that she was right because Donnie inevitably died by himself without ever having met Gretchen and without resolving his fight with his mother. Another event can be one of the first encounters with Frank in which ended with “28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds” (“Donnie Darko”) being etched into his arm. He had his very own expiration date and “end of the world” timeframe given to him. The very thought of knowing one’s own time of death is absolutely frightening and panic inducing. One of the deleted scenes off of the DVD provided more insight into Donnie’s mind and his acceptance of death: A storm is coming, Frank says.
A storm that will swallow the children, and I will deliver them from the kingdom of pain.
I will deliver the children back to their doorsteps;
I'll send the monsters back to the underground.
I'll send them back to a place where no one else can see them, except for me because I am Donnie Darko
(“Donnie Darko”)

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