A meme that has interested me in recent years is the Faustian pact. I am not a fan of literature, but this motif has come to my attention in a few ways:
I. Goethe’s ‘Faust, part I’
II. Wilde’s ‘A picture of Dorian Gray’ (I had to read it for sociology: my lecturer was very eccentric and said it was relevant to the study of the face in sociology)
III. ‘Star wars: Revenge of the Sith’
What is the Faustian pact? It is the age old ‘deal with the devil’. A person wants something and sells their soul to the devil (mephistoles), (entailed as) that which defines who they are, that which is most important to them, for that object. In the process of making a deal with the devil, the agent becomes horribly deformed beyond recognition in their pursuit.
The faustian pact interests me, not because it is ‘true’, but it is such a predominant motif in literature. These norms invade our mind as we are taught stories from birth, we take these norms for granted, we even appreciate them, but most of all, they are just memes.