[2015] Reona Islam: Icarus and Daedalus

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[2015] Reona Islam: Icarus and Daedalus

This short story is about a boy and his father who are both imprisoned, thinking of a way out. When his father finally devises a plan and creates a device to escape, his son does not exactly listen to his father’s warnings. The conflict is of Icarus and his flight with the wings. It is an external conflict as he ¨fights¨ with outside forces.

ThemeThe theme of this story is that too much pride can lead to downfall. You have to be careful of not being carried away with anything. In the story, it is said, ¨But when a great wind filled their wings, and Icarus felt himself sustained, like a halcyon-bird in the hollow of a wave, like a child uplifted by his mother, he forgot everything in the world but joy.¨ This quote tells us that Icarus was filled with joy, but because of this, he fell to his death.

Plot and Main Conflict

The moods of this story could be suspense, pride, and shame. In the story, it’s said that ¨Alas for him! Warmer and warmer grew the air. Those arms, that had seemed to uphold him, relaxed. His wings wavered, drooped. He fluttered his young hands vainly,--he was falling,--and in that terror he remembered.¨ This builds suspense for the story, which preceded the pride portion of the story, and was followed by the shame portion. There is shame because Icarus was brought down by his pride, which led to an unfortunate ending for Icarus.


The main characters are, as in the title, Icarus and Daedalus. From the story, we can say the Daedalus is a caring father who is very cunning as well. He comes up with makes the wings, in which he also cares for his son and warns him, ¨Remember never to fly very low or very high, for the fogs about the earth would weigh you down, but the blaze of the sun will surely melt your feathers apart if you go too near.¨ On the other hand, Icarus only sees the opportunity in front of him and ignores his father’s warnings. He is a bit selfish and probably not the smartest pea in the pod. Icarus was over excited about flying that he forgets that it would be dangerous to fly too high or too low, which leads to his ultimate end.



This story is written in third person, omniscient, as the narrator knows what each character thinks and what they are doing at any given time. We can tell this from the first line of the story, ¨Among all those mortals who grew so wise that they learned the secrets of the gods,none was more cunning than Daedalus.¨ From this, we see that a character is being introduced in the third person. Moving on with the story, the narrator says, ¨For Icarus, these cautions went in at one ear and out by the other. Who could remember to be careful when he was to fly for the first time? Are birds careful? Not they!¨ This suggests that the narrator knows what Icarus is thinking, showing that the point of view is also omniscient.

Point of View

Icarus and Daedalus

Compare and ContrastIn Icarus and Daedalus, there is a boy and his father in which they must escape from a prison cell. Both characters have very human traits, and their personalities are not unbelievable. Icarus makes an honest mistake because of his pride, and this happens to us on an everyday basis but on a smaller scale. In the end, Icarus dies and his father makes a memorial for him. There is closure for the ending. However, In The Tell-Tale Heart, the ending is implied and open to interpretation. We are given the gift of an unreliable narrator instead of it being third person, like in Icarus. The main character is also quite mad in the way he describes things and how he thinks. The action of the narrator is probably far worse than the mistake that Icarus made. A last difference is that The Tell-Tale Heart is a bit more morbid than Icarus and Daedalus in the way the story is told, as well as the story itself.Icarus and Daedalus and The Tell-Tale Heart are similar because the main characters are both flawed and have done wrong. Their wrongdoings both lead to their eventual downfall in the end, although one is implied. Both main characters also don’t seem to be ¨all there¨ in one way or another. Both end badly for themselves as Icarus dies and the narrator confesses his crime. The narrator says ¨I admit the deed,¨ and the narrator for Icarus says ¨He knew that Icarus had drowned.¨ Both stories end in the consequence of the characters; actions. Their ends are results of the character’s mistakes and traits they have, and they are both something we possess as flawed human beings.These stories are meant for us to be more conscious of these flaws and to better ourselves as people.


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