Main Ideas In Story Of Odysseus

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“The need for control always comes from someone that has lost it,” Shannon L. Alder, author. The hunger for pride, status, and control is poison to a person.

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Terrible events, people, and personal downfall originate from this poison, and our own actions and emotion are affected by it. We always hide our faults from the eyes of others to protect our pride and maintain control, and even try to convince ourselves that we are perfect. The Odyssey by Homer is an epic poem that describes our need for recognition and power, and how we treat people through the story of Odysseus.

Because Odysseus changes from a prideful, controlling man to a man who still has pride but also respect for others, we can see that we attempt to protect our pride and authority through trying to control the situation, which causes us to lose sight of important goals, but by loosening our grip and acknowledging and respecting those who are superior to us, we can accept our faults and maintain the important things in life.

Because Odysseus is facing his fears of losing control of his life and dying a meaningless death in the ocean after leaving Calypso’s island, we see a change from a man with too much pride and a sense of control, to someone who is weak in the face of his greatest fear, which shows us that we protect our pride and authority through trying to control the situation, but we have to let go of some control and face our fears and transgressions, so that we can reach a less arrogant and more open mind. As Odysseus approaches his Abyss, “Odysseus’ knees shook and his spirit failed. In anguish he communed with his great heart: ‘Poor wretch that I am, what will become of me after all?’” (70)

In the quote when the author describes the ‘great hearted’ Odysseus’ knees shaking, and his spirit failing, his flaws are open to us and himself. In that description, it seems as though Odysseus is unaware of how this will play out, which is obvious when the quote says “Poor wretch that I am, what will become of me after all?” because he is admitting to not being able to control his future and how he will be viewed, and that is something he cannot bear, the unknown. After his spirit had already failed, “As he spoke, a mountainous wave, advancing with awesome speed, crashed down upon him from above and whirled his raft around. The rudder was torn from his hands, and he himself was tossed off the raft…” (71) The emphasis on the ‘awesome speed’ and mountainous size of the wave is used to make Odysseus look insignificant and vulnerable, and when the wave ‘whirled his raft around’ we were able to feel the lack of control Odysseus felt.

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