That floaty thing with feathers springs eternal etc.
March 17, 2012 11:12 PM   Subscribe

Looking for stories, sayings, myths, etc dealing with hope.

Doing some research on the subject of hope, but so far I'm mostly finding motivational quotes. Do you know any stories, myths, idioms/proverbs, metaphors, phrases, allegories, etc that deal with hope in some format? I'm more interested in more metaphorical takes than literal ones.

and yep, already know Hope is the thing with feathers....

posted by actionpact to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house,
she remained under the lip of the jar, and did not
fly away. Before [she could], Pandora replaced the
lid of the jar. This was the will of aegis-bearing
Zeus the Cloudgatherer.
posted by spunweb at 11:20 PM on March 17, 2012

Best answer: According to the great New Zealand band The Muttonbirds, hope comes in strange shapes.
posted by embrangled at 2:39 AM on March 18, 2012

Best answer: Clough - Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth. Though possibly too motivational for your take. There's also the Watts painting if visual stuff will do.
posted by paduasoy at 3:21 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Stolen from kaibutsu, who made one of my very favorite comments here ever, and it happens to be about hope:

There's this really cool Derrick Jensen bit where he's talking about hope. Hope is a process of making the best of having no control over one's situation. You don't 'hope' to eat a sandwich; you just go make one. Hope is the thing you have when you're on the airplane, wondering whether it will crash. So Jensen, he says, to paraphrase, fuck hope. If I'm in a situation where hope is necessary, it's time to change the way I'm living.
posted by vers at 4:16 AM on March 18, 2012

Please note: Hope is in the jar with the ills of the world for a reason.
posted by Jilder at 4:26 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world . . . Either we have hope or we don't; it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation.

Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons . . .

Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather and ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

Vaclav Havel
posted by mermayd at 4:52 AM on March 18, 2012

I found the manga version of Battle Royale (not the film, never read the book) to be one of the most powerful reflections on hope I've ever read. Basically the protagonists (well, almost all of the characters, really) are placed in a situation where the key moral choice is between hope and despair; but a component of that hope is the hope that others will not themselves succumb to despair. There are many different characters, and they all respond to this challenge in different ways. Because the manga is very long (15 volumes) it's actually very slow and meditative and explores what in the different characters' life experiences and personalities causes them to make different choices. I recommend it very strongly. It is nothing like the film, and not really much like The Hunger Games, to which it's often compared.
posted by Acheman at 7:56 AM on March 18, 2012

Chickadee's Message is a nice story about hope
posted by belladonna at 8:58 AM on March 18, 2012

Well, every time I hear the word hope, I can't help but think of the movie The Shawshank Redemption -- Maybe this is too literal, but still, it's one of my favorite movies so I'm glad to be able to mention it.
posted by woodman at 2:53 PM on March 18, 2012

For fiction books that make me "feel" hope, ditto on Shawshank Redemption (movie was great). Also, Count of Monte Cristo (the movie wasn't bad either) and Firestarter (the movie was terrible IMO).
posted by simongsmith at 4:46 PM on March 18, 2012

In a relationship with a toxic person a Ray of Hope can be a force of evil.
posted by nickyskye at 5:12 PM on March 18, 2012

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