Reactions To "Hedeia" - Chapter Twelve of AFDIA

  • I wanted to start a special thread in anticipation of our Book Review Discussion of Chapter 12 of AFDIA to focus on the character and personality of "Hedeia."

    I don't think we have talked too much previously about this character here on the forum, and I am not sure that she exists outside of this fictional world of Frances Wright.

    However I have always found the portrayal of her character to be difficult to size up, and I would be interested in impressions of what she represents, and what Frances Wright is portraying in presenting her in this way.

    Some of the basic attributes she is displaying is disdain for philosophic intellectualizing in general, and she is very headstrong and aggressive and willing to trade on her wittiness and physical beauty in a way that I think many would describe as off-putting.

    Yet while Wright has several of the characters express warnings about her, I don't believe she has Epicurus or anyone else condemn her outright, and it is almost as if she represents an assertion of "If you're lucky enough to have the world on a string, don't be ashamed to spin it around for fun."

    In typing this I wonder (probably for the first time) if this aspect of her character is intended to display a version of the position taken by Epicurus in PD10.

    At any rate I think there are many interesting aspects of this character that we don't often find reason to talk about, so I wanted to point this out to memorialize it.

    Chapter Twelve - A Few Days In Athens

  • I got the impression that she is intended as a representation of the practical or even intuitive application of the philosophy, as opposed to the theorising of Leontium et al.

    We just read a number of theoretical arguments and I think Hedeia is meant to remind the reader that at some point one needs to stop talking and start doing. If we eternally stay in the garden debating the nature of summum bonum, we are no better than Platonists.