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Related: narratology - ending
Destiny refers to the predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as the irresistible entity that determines the future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that there is a natural order to the universe. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destiny [Aug 2006]
Different concepts of destiny and fate
Destiny may be envisaged as foreordained by the Divine (for example, the Protestant concept of predestination) or by human will (for example, the American concept of the nation's Manifest Destiny).
A sense of destiny in its oldest human sense is in the soldier's fatalistic image of the "bullet that has your name on it" or the moment when your number "comes up." The human sense that there must be a hidden purpose in the random lottery governs the selection of Theseus to be among the youths to be sacrificed to the Minotaur. Many Greek legends and tales teach the futility of trying to outmaneuver an inexorable fate that has been correctly predicted.
Many people believe destiny is a fixed timeline of events that is inevitable and unchangeable.
Others believe that they choose their own destiny by choosing different paths throughout their life. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destiny [Aug 2006]
Destiny in literature
Destiny is a source of irony in literature; characters may act without realizing the destiny that the audience or reader is aware of. This form of irony is important in Greek tragedy, as it is in the Schiller play that Verdi transformed into La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") or Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey, or in Macbeth's knowledge of his own destiny, which does not preclude a horrible fate. The common theme is of these works is a protagonist who cannot escape a destiny if their fate has been sealed, however hard they try.
Another notable mention is Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'urbervilles. Tess is destined to the miserable death that she is confronted with at the end of the novel.
Destiny is a recurring theme in the literature of Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), including Siddhartha (1922) and his magnum opus, Das Glasperlenspiel also published as The Glass Bead Game (1943). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destiny [Aug 2006]
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