For this essay, I had to find some cultural traits in a story that are being shown in today's society. The culture I decided to go with was Roman and story I chose is 'Confessions' by Augustine. In my essay I'm going to talk about how Roman culture is shown in our culture today, with some examples from the story. Some of things that I found to be very similar in our world today are: the importance of an education, church, marriage and how it is sacred, and law. Those were some of the things that stood out the most to me in the story and that pertain the most to our culture.
Education in our society today is very important. We start going to school at a very young age and we are taught the basics of what we need to know. As children, we didn't always want to go to school as Augustine shows in his literature, "I, poor wretch, could not see the use of the things I was sent to school to learn; but if I proved idle in learning, I was soundly beaten." As we get older and the further we get into our schooling, it gets a little tougher and more is expected from us. After you graduate high school, you have the choice of pursuing a degree of your choice in college.
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Church is a major part of our culture today and there several different kinds denominations. Church was started in the Roman culture and was here around the first century AD. It was started in the Mediterranean area and became the main religion with the Romans by the fourth century. Many people start to attend church when they are children and some of us may start to go when we get older. There are so many choices for churches to choose from, you just need to find one you like and feel comfortable with. It is a great place to be and to fellowship and worship. "I wept at the beauty of Your hymns and canticles, and was powerfully moved at the sweet sound of Your Church's singing" as Augustine states in this story.
Marriage is also brought up in the story. Getting married in our culture today is a major deal to a lot of people and it is very sacred. You make a life-long commitment to one person and that person only. Augustine's mother was eager to have him get married and when he found the right girl, he proposed. "I proposed, the girl was promised me. My mother played a great part in the matter for she wanted to have me married and then cleansed with the saving waters of baptism." Augustine confesses that it wasn't really marriage that he wanted, he was just lusting after women. "So I took another woman, not of course as a wife; and thus my soul's disease was nourished and kept alive as vigorously as ever, indeed worse than ever, that it might reach the realm of matrimony in the company of its ancient habit."
Law was also talked about. Not just the laws that we abide by in our society, but the laws from God. He gave us Ten Commandments to live by and obey and Augustine broke one of them by stealing pears from his neighbor. "We carried off an immense load of pears, not to eat--for we barely tasted them before throwing them to the hogs. Our only pleasure in doing it was that it was forbidden." He later realizes that it was wrong and knows that there is punishment. "Your law, O Lord, punishes theft; and this is so written in the hearts of men that not even the breaking of it blots it out..".
In conclusion, Augustine has shown several Roman cultural traits in his story 'Confessions', that are very similar to our culture. He wrote about education and it is very important to our culture. We may not want to go when we are little but as we grow up, we start to realize just how important it is to have an education and where it can take us. He had wrote about church and how he was moved by the singing in the church. In our society today, so many people go to church and are brought up in that way. Marriage was brought up a lot in the story, mainly because it was Augustine's mother who wanted to see him married. This was not something he wanted since he was only lusting after women. Marriage is sacred to us in our society today, since it is a life-long commitment. And the final thing he wrote about was law. He wasn't talking about the laws we have to abide by, he was talking about the laws of the Lord. He had been stealing pears from a neighbor's tree with a group of friends because he liked that it was forbidden. He then feels guilty about it and knows that there is punishment from God. Later on in the story, he converts to Christianity and gives his life over to God. So all in all, these are the cultural traits that I found to be similar to our culture. We have been influenced by the Romans in many different areas but these are just the way we are similar within our cultures!
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