Hamartia is a fatal flaw.
A great error in human beings. A great flaw in our judgment that will eventually lead to our downfall. It leads to a tragic, if not a fatal, end.
You see as humans, we are born flawed already. Our faults are hereditary and date back to the beginning of time. We evolved with them. We are them, they are us. The only thing we did about this was make a choice. Chose whether or not to let these flaws control us, define us. We chose whether or not these flaws will be fatal or lead to tragedy. We still choose everyday.
In J.K Rowlling’s Harry Potter, Harry is willing to sacrifice himself for the ones he loves. Noble but dangerous. In Greek mythology, greek hero Achilles has great hubris. His pride leads to his downfall. We can go on and on with them ,the list is endless.
These great heroes with great destinies but deterred by their own human flaws from walking that straight path, don’t they represent us? We are, after all, the heroes of our own stories, aren’t we?
*This is an excerpt from #TheFaultinourStars by John Green❤ (to say I am obsessed with this book would be an understatement.) *
Then Augustus Waters reached into a pocket
and pulled out, of all things, a pack of cigarettes. He flipped it open and put a cigarette between his lips.
“Are you serious?” I asked. “You think that’s cool? Oh, my God, you just ruined the whole thing.”
“Which whole thing?” he asked, turning to me. The cigarette dangled unlit from the unsmiling corner of his mouth.
“The whole thing where a boy who is not unattractive or unintelligent or seemingly in any way unacceptable stares at me and points out
incorrect uses of literality and compares me to actresses and asks me to watch a movie at his house. But of course there is always a hamartia
and yours is that oh, my God, even though you HAD FREAKING CANCER you give money to a company in exchange for the chance to acquire
YET MORE CANCER. Oh, my God. Let me just assure you that not being able to breathe? SUCKS. Totally disappointing. Totally.”
“A hamartia?” he asked, the cigarette still in his mouth. It tightened his jaw. He had a hell of a jawline, unfortunately.
“A fatal flaw,” I explained, turning away from him. I stepped toward the curb, leaving Augustus Waters behind me, and then I heard a
car start down the street. It was Mom. She’d been waiting for me to, like, make friends or whatever.
I felt this weird mix of disappointment and anger welling up inside of me. I don’t even know what the feeling was, really, just that there
was a lot of it, and I wanted to smack Augustus Waters and also replace my lungs with lungs that didn’t suck at being lungs. I was standing
with my Chuck Taylors on the very edge of the curb, the oxygen tank ball-and-chaining in the cart by my side, and right as my mom pulled
up, I felt a hand grab mine.
I yanked my hand free but turned back to him.
“They don’t kill you unless you light them,” he said as Mom arrived at the curb. “And I’ve never lit one. It’s a metaphor, see: You put the
killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”
“It’s a metaphor,” I said, dubious. Mom was just idling.
“It’s a metaphor,” he said.
“You choose your behaviors based on their metaphorical resonances . . .” I said.
“Oh, yes.” He smiled. The big, goofy, real smile. “I’m a big believer in metaphor, Hazel Grace.”
One’s hamartia could be anything. Vice or virtue, good or bad. Anything can be used against you. The key is to know your fatal flaw then control it. Also, keeping it under wraps so that people who want to see you fail don’t use it against you. That way you will not set yourself up for a downfall.
I know mine. Controlling it is what I’m working on. It may take some time. Meantime, I’ll be here reading #TFIOS for the millionth time. Nice weekend peeps✌