The Written Book
In the stories of Oedipus Rex and The Adjustment Bureau, the authors present a conflict between fate and freewill that leaves us, the readers, questioning whether or not fate or freewill is what governs us. This leaves the human mind to debate if the choices in our lives are really choices that we have been left free to make on our own or if we are simply provided the illusion of choice by a higher power that controls our destinies.
If she stays with [David], she ends up teaching dance to six year olds” (George Nolfi). Not to crush Elise’s dreams and interfere with her bright future, David ends his pursuit of her much in the same way that Oedipus leaves his father, “the man whom Oedipus, long ago, feared so, fled so, in dread of destroying him” (56). Both David and Oedipus leave their loved ones behind to avoid causing harm to them, but through fate, harm comes to them anyways. Elise is emotionally crushed without David in her life, and Oedipus inadvertently kills his own father.
Through fate, one can argue that the pain that Elise and Oedipus’ father incur are unavoidable and that the illusion of choice was only granted to David and Oedipus in order to give the appearance that such pain could be avoided. Fate may be given and the destination chosen, but the journey is malleable and full of choices for us to make whenever we find ourselves at a crossroad.
The Adjustment Bureau. George Nolfi. Universal Pictures, 2011. Film.
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama, 4th edition. Ed.
Lee A. Jacobus. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001