Odyssey literary analysis books 1-12

The Odyssey: Books II-XI

Trust and Fate

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     “Ah how shameless – the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone they say come all their miseries yes but they themselves with their own reckless ways compound their pains beyond their proper share.” ― Homer, [The Odyssey, Book I, Lines 37-40]

 

    Trust plays a major factor in people’s lives and feelings. And in the end, you have to choose whether or not to trust your fate. In the first twelve books of The Odyssey, by Homer, the idea of trust and fate were exhibited throughout the book. Trust was interpreted as more of a damnation than a gift from the gods. It was used to test the characters and trial them and their decide their fate.

 

    Odysseus and his crew were sailing for months, barely surviving countless atrocities and roadblocks on the way. Finally they reached the island of the Sun. Odysseus wanted to avoid the island, however Eurylochus insisted that the crew was too tired and needed rest so Odysseus made the men swear an oath not to eat any cattle because if they did, Helios, the sun god, would punish them as they were his cattle. Odysseus and his crew stayed at the island for a month and eventually ran out of the stored food they had on their ship so they began to starve. One night Eurylochus convinced the men to eat the cattle of the sun and betraying Odysseus’s trust. Odysseus and Zeus felt deeply betrayed and which enraged them.

“Father Zeus! the rest of you blissful gods who never die —you with your fatal sleep, you lulled me into disaster. Left on their own, look what a monstrous thing my crew concocted!’ Quick as a flash with her flaring robes Lampetie sped the news to the Sun on high that we had killed his herds and Helios burst out in rage to all the immortals” [The Odyssey, Book XI, Lines 405-409]

Odysseus was enraged with the actions of his crew mates and even though they received justice in the form of the wrath of Zeus, he may never trust anyone again. His whole journey is recurrent with mutiny and betrayal. The story also exhibits the theme of forgiveness and mercy, especially from Odysseus. Throughout the book, Odysseus forgives and shows kindness to his crew mates when in return only given disrespect and betrayal. The effects of this exchange take a toll on Odysseus and it is shown as Odysseus changes throughout his journey.

 

     After Odysseus had journeyed for eighteen days across the endless sea, he caught sight of a distant island hoping to find asylum. Suddenly Poseidon, god of the sea, sees Odysseus who he has seething rage for. Poseidon sends monstrous waves obstructing his way. Poseidon knows he can’t kill Odysseus because it against the will of Zeus. Odysseus swims to the island for two days in the harshest of storms. He finally collapses on the sand. 

    “A heavy sea covered him over, then and there unlucky Odysseus would have met his death—against the will of fate—but the bright eyed one inspired him yet again.” [Lines 479-482–The Odyssey book five].

While Odysseus was close to death, the power of the gods and fate saved him and inspired him to survive. This event shows that the gods are always looking over us and influencing our fate and future. The gods threw hardships at Odysseus and helped him out during hard times as well. The gods have a plan for Odysseus even though they can’t see the future. 

 

    Even though the gods can’t generally be trusted, you can still decide the mortals who to trust which will predominantly determine your fate. Trust can often be deadly, and as shown in The Odyssey; who you trust can ultimately determine your fate. 


Wrestling blog post

How Wrestling Shaped My Life

Connor Soukup

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This is a sport (wrestling) that has turned many boys into men and many men into leaders. And it is a sport in which you can be a giant regardless of how big you are.”- Carl Albert, former Speaker of the House

 

 

    Many people believe wrestling to be a cruel or dangerous sport. Or that it’s for people who are troubled. This isn’t just false, but people who wrestle tend to be more developed mentally and physically than any other sport. Wrestling has been widely misunderstood for generations. It isn’t any more your backyard sport as soccer or football. Wrestling matches require various equipment and referees. It is a very organized sport that is appreciated by many types of athletes. 

 

    Wrestling is known as one of the oldest sports in history. Referenced in the Iliad and depicted in 15,000-year-old cave drawings in France. Early Egyptian and Babylonian reliefs show wrestlers using most of the holds known in the present-day sport. This fact  can be off putting to some people. Thinking that since it is old it is wrong and barbaric because of its heritage being around when gladiator arenas, lion or bull fighting, and other sports of that nature. It is actually won of the tamer sports, having evolved over time to be more safe and more responsible. 

 

    My experience with wrestling has shaped my life. I started wrestling in third grade at a local high school. My older brother was on varsity wrestling team there and It was my goal to one day make the varsity team in the many years to come when I would be in high school. That goal was deserted when I changed schools in sixth grade. I joined my new schools wrestling team at The Fenn School in concord MA, I started on the middle school team which I quickly didn’t feel like I belonged. I was wrestling first time wrestlers when I had already been wrestling for three years prior. I couldn’t practice the moves I liked and I felt like wasn’t reaching my potential. It wasn’t until my next year that I got to try out for the varsity team at Fenn. I worked hard and was determined to work my very best and learn the most from the experience. My first couple of matches on varsity went pretty well. The coach put me up against new wrestlers who I got to practice my new moves on. When the season progressed I started going up against harder and harder opponents. I started losing and I felt really bad for myself. I was going from winning most of my matches to winning few of them. I became discouraged and was ready to give up. It wasn’t until I realized the reason I loved wrestling. It was because of hardships and vicissitude that came with it. Because you need to experience sadness and failure to appreciate success and happiness. It is one of the main reasons why I love sports. You gain strength from your failures and it shapes you as a person. I have become who I am today because of wrestling. 


Book seven literary reflection Odyssey

Power of Pity

Connor Soukup

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Do not pity the dead, Pity the living, and above all those who live without love.” - J.K Rowling

 

 

    Pity can be stronger than you think. In the Odyssey, book seven, Oddesius gains a lot of help from Narcissa and queen Arete’s through the form of pity. It helps him find asylum and food as well as a ship to journey home in. And even though it somewhat damaged his reputation, he found all the help he needed and more.

    While reading this book, I found pity as a way to get what you want or to get people to help you. Like when Oddesius comes to the city begging queen Arete’s for help. He debates whether to use the strategy of confidence to get her help, or the strategy of pity and sadness. Go goes with sadness and self-pity which works well enough for him. This encounter plus when Oddesius meets Narcissa and he gets her to help him, are some great examples of how people use pity to benefit themselves.

    While reading this book, I found pity as a way to get what you want or to get people to help you. Like when Oddesius comes to the city begging queen Arete’s for help. He debates whether to use the strategy of confidence to get her help, or the strategy of pity and sadness. Go goes with sadness and self-pity which works well enough for him. This encounter plus when Oddesius meets Narcissa and he gets her to help him, are some great examples of how people use pity to benefit themselves. 

    Pity, however an important aspect of human life, can’t always be depended on. This book of the Odyssey displays when and how it can be used to your advantage.

 

 


The Odyssey Book 1-6 literary Analysis

The Power of Fate

Connor Soukup

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                        “You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it” - French Proverb

 

 

     Since the dawn of man, people have believed that something out of their control determines their future. In the Odyssey, the gods have complete dominion over mortals lives. As Telemachus sails to find his father and oddesius attempts to journey home. The gods influence their fortune at every turn. 

    After oddesius had journeyed for eighteen days across the endless sea, he caught sight of a distant island hoping to find asylum. Suddenly Poseidon, god of the sea, sees oddesius who he has seething rage for. Poseidon sends monstrous waves obstructing his way. Poseidon knows he can’t kill oddesius because it against the will of Zeus. Oddesius swims to the island for two days in the harshest of storms. He finally collapses on the sand. 

    A heavy sea covered him over, then and there unlucky oddesius would have met his death—against the will of fate—but the bright eyed one inspired him yet again. (Lines 479-482–The Odyssey book five). 

While oddesius was close to death, the power of the gods and fate saved him and inspired him to survive. This shows the gods are always looking over us and influencing our fate and future. The gods throw hardships at oddesius and help him out during hard times as well. The gods have a plan for oddesius even though they can’t see the future. 

    The gods have dominating control over the lives and fate of mortals. Like the gods you can’t decide you fate but you can influence it. 

 

 


Adam Aronovitz reflection

Biases in a small scale

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             “Prejudices is a learned trait. You are not born prejudiced, you are thought it”

 

 

    Prejudices are some of the main causes of conflict in the world. So to ignore and fight them would we making the world better as a whole. Adam Aronovitz came to our school and presented his views on biases. Adam Aronovitz showed us that prejudices can be stronger than we think. And can have a great effect on the our futures and growth. This presentation opened our minds to some realities of predilection in economy. 

 

   Adam Aronovitz set up an activity were we split the class into two small countries in South America. Mara and minia. We each were given a paper with our countries situation and biases towards the other country. Minia described the Mara in words like arrogant, selfish, controlling, mean, and oppressive. When Mara described themselves as helpful, kind, caring, and selfless. Mara described the Minia as vain, rude, self-serving, rebellious, and egotistical. Minia described their own country in words like impoverished, oppressed, brave, and as freedom fighters. 

 

    All these different opinions and biases towards themselves and their nationalism clogged each countries open mindsets. And when Adam read each countries own description to both groups, many people changed their minds when they found out more information. However some people’s opinions didn’t change even a bit when hearing the other countries opinions. Showing that they were too involved in their hatred and biases towards the other country to even consider other opinions. 

 

   This activity was with a class who formed these stubborn biases nearly ten minutes before sharing. Imagine how much stronger these opinions and prejudices would be if you grew up with these views. Over time solidifying these opinions into your beliefs. How much harder it would be to open your mind and to forget your grudges and hatred for them. 

 

    This activity showed us that even small scale prejudices can show us a lot about big ones. That we need to forget our biases and have an open mind. Keeping away from stubborn prejudices blinding us from the truth. And stop us from poisoning the world with hatred.


Themes in book 4

Fear in the Odyssey

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“And fate? No one alive has ever escaped it,neither brave man nor coward, I tell you--it's born with us the day that we are born.” -Odyssey 

 

    Fear can be your biggest danger. Fear can determine whether or not you survive. Sometimes it makes you think twice when you don’t even need to think once. It 

 

    Telemachus fears the danger of the voyage ahead of him. He fears his father may be dead and he fears nothing will ever be the same. Throughout the book Telemachus has visited many of his fathers friends palaces and feasted with them. They told Telemachus of their war stories and about how harsh the gods can be. He gets worried for his voyage ahead, for the dangers ahead of him will be unrelenting and cruel. Penelope is afraid of her husbands death or survival and can’t push the suitors out as a result.

 

    Fear can have a major effect on your decisions and success. It plays into whether or not you are willing to do something. And the risks involved with it. Risking a lot for a little is the theme of fear. However it can be somewhat questionable whether or not the worries are realistic. 

 

    The theme of fear in the first couple books of the odyssey is seen in both Telemachus and Penelope. It’s a great theme to add to this symbolistic story.

 

 


Independent blog assignment

The Power of Tradition

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“Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes”

 

     Community’s grow on the vine of tradition. It forms community’s and makes them stronger. Traditions are a way to remember the past and learn from it. They are often essential to the survival of a community as more people come and go. The members leaving their mark on the community as well as members subsequent to them.  

 

    Fenn is a community that has survived along time. Almost a century now. Fenn as well as many other schools have been striving away from traditions because of the changing of curriculum and culture. However as a result we have abandoned some essential traditions. Traditions that mean a lot to the  students even if they are undemanding of time or work.  It makes everyone feel more included and part of the Fenn community. 

 

    One tradition I would like to keep is Senior Pen and Paper, where members of the Senior class hang out in the headmasters garage on Fridays. This tradition is very important because it helps bond the class and bring the students closer together because their is no teachers telling them what to do. Students bond with one another much easier if they are alone. And feeling responsible for themselves and others. This aspect of school life that has gotten more and more scarce throughout the years. And that is why senior classes have had a harder time bonding. One switching the class bonding trip to Belknap, which is known to be strict. And second, declaring all these rules around school and students being alone with their peers. 

 

    These new rules are voiding class bonding and growth as people. Kids are supposed to learn from their mistakes and be scolded by their peers.  But when the teachers only do it these students will never grow up. I’ve seen this for myself, so we must make a change.


Power of hard times #2

 

The Bad Days

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“I think that you just gotta have the bad days so that you can just love the good days even more.”
   -Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible,  No Good, Very Bad Day

 

     Hard times are a necessary part of life. They shape who you are and form your future. Make you wiser, stronger, and live the good days even better. You won’t realize how strong you are until it’s your only option. You won’t realize how happy you are until you’ve experienced sadness. You won’t know yourself until you know the power of suffering.

 

    When I hear people talking about optimism as if it’s a great skill to have I stop to think if these people really know what they’re talking about. Theses optimists you only see from the outside. You can’t see the pain and suffering in their life which is essential part of humanity. Pain shapes who you are, makes you a better person. I believe in being happy. But not living without pain. Suffering actually makes you happier in the long run. Because you will never be able to know happiness is if you have never experienced pain. You can’t have one without the other. 

 

    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Hard times make you who you are. They reveal your inner strengths as well as weaknesses. You can only find yourself in the midst of a hard time. In which the experience can reward you forever. 

 

    When you do something wrong, don’t forget all the things you’ve done right. For I’ve become stronger because of hard times, wiser from my mistakes, and happier because I’ve  known sadness.  


Power of place

What is a place?

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“Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness”

 

 

      A location is a feeling, a memory, all in a place. All aspects of it form and store memories and story’s. Causing feeling and reaction. And whether it’s good or bad, it has a vital effect on you. Making you feel emotion and bring back memories from history and past actions. When you leave a place you come out altered and changed. Every place you go will have an effect on you which lasts forever. 

 

    I try to spend my time in places I like so they have the most positive effect on me. Places where I can relax and than leave feeling better than before. I personally like to spend time outdoors, in nature. Exploring, working, or just relaxing. Because it’s even what you do there effects your image of the place and your image of the world whether you want it to or not. So try and spend time in places you like and not places you don’t. Because it can change you forever.


Independent blog post #1

 

A Morning Run

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Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” -Dr. Seuss

 

     The dew from the long grass envelopes my shoes as run past. Soaking them with every cold step across the field behind my house. I stride across the field to a large bush, which I go around around and into the forest. The ground littered in decomposing sticks and leaves. Making the landing of my feet feel soft with every step. Like I’m running on memory foam. I take a right at the intersection. Barely moving down this long corridor covered by leaning trees. 

 

    I run along the side of a big hill, to the left I see beaver pond. I speed up and can feel the cold wind I run up and down small hills, cold morning air burning though my lungs. The trail takes me alongside great views and alongside a marsh. I run by a river emitting white noise masking the sound of birds for a moment. Until it fades into the distance and quiets down. I run along swampy ground on wooden planks the move whenever you take a step. Sometimes marsh water spraying up at me when the planks submerge themselves under the mud. Splattering my legs in mud and dirt. 

 

    I take a left off the trail leading into a self made trail of cleared debris. I run up the steep hill and stop as I get to the top. I take a deep breath and consume the environment around me. I look out seeing the entire marsh and the pond in the near distance.  I sit down on the bench I made many years ago at this spot. Memory’s flowing through my mind as I think back to all the time I spent at this spot. I jog back down the hill contriving this memory into my mind forever.