Sample Literature Review Paper on The Descent of Inanna

The Descent of Inanna

Response to Questions

  1. In what ways does going into the underworld, of facing death- and surviving it- speak to a woman’s existence? Why women might be honored as goddesses in the ancient world?

Going to the underworld was an important part of the ancient because of the associated significances. Women played a major role in going to the underworld as goddesses in the ancient. First, it is proper to note that underworld represented the place of unknown, a place with the ability to bring renewal to the existence. On the same note, goddesses were a representation of the very substance of life like birth, death and fertility of the earth. For instance, in The Descent of Inanna, Inanna is the goddess decides to “abandon heaven and earth to descend to the underworld” where she faces and survives death. She may have done this to ensure fertility for the following season. Demeter, in Homeric Hymn to Demeter, goes to look for the daughter who has been abducted by the King of the underworld; a journey makes a definition of harvesting seasons. All these are indications of importance of women in the ancient times in terms of continual existence.

  • What roles does clothing play in at least two of our readings?

Clothing during the ancient times gave different symbolisms. Different clothes were to be worn at particular times and for different reasons. In the book of Esther chapter two, Esther finds favor before king Ahasuerus “so that he sets the royal crown upon her head”, making her the queen instead of Vashti. This means that clothing helps in indicating status and appointment in a society. On the same reading, Chapter 6 shows Mordecai with the royal apparel being paraded on the streets as a sign of honor by the king. Therefore, clothing showed a certain status and honor. On the other note, unclothing also has certain significance. In The Descent of Inanna, Inanna is stripped of all the ornaments, crown, ointment and clothing as she moves towards the underworld. She is eventually “naked and bowed” as she is killed. This may indicate the requirement of letting everything go in the journey towards death or initiation.