Photography and Text by Julie Chu Cheong
This is the Greek mythological story of Echo and Narcissus – a tale of vanity and tragedy, of love and loss.
There once lived a beautiful nymph named Echo who was known for her incessant chatter- nothing pleased her more than the sound of her own voice. However, she became cursed and her worst nightmare became a reality. She was destined to a life of mimicking others- never getting to speak her own words.
There also lived a vain youth, Narcissus, who was destined to “live to be a ripe old age, as long as she never knew herself.” She grew more and more beautiful as she aged, but rejected all her suitors. Echo spotted Narcissus and fell desperately in love.
Repulsed, she shoved away Echo, rudely telling her to leave her presence. Devastated, Echo spent the remainder of her life pining for the love she never knew, until at last only her voice remained.
A goddess saw this happening and decided to exact revenge for Echo. She caused Narcissus to fall in love, but the kind of love that could never be fulfilled. Narcissus came upon a spring and for the first time saw her reflection. Try as she might to touch the exquisite person in the waters, she never could.
Experiencing the unrequited love of all her past suitors, Narcissus plunges a dagger into her heart and dies a tragic death.
Photography and Text by Julie Chu Cheong, Copyright 2015.
About The Author: Julie Chu Cheong is a sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania. Class of 2018.