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The three themes
”A mighty book requires mighty themes.”
The first twelve books of The Odyssey give us a look into the ancient Greeks; it teaches us a lesson about everything they live by at the time. We are introduced to powerful themes like the power of the gods, glory and honor and disguise. These three themes are what defines The Odyssey, they are part of the reason the book is so well known around the world.
The power and importance of disguise
Disguise is the key to success. In book seven of The Odyssey, Odysseus uses the power of disguise to help get him through the city with a little help from Athena. Athena uses her “powers” to disguise Odysseus in a cloud of mist and transform herself into a little girl. Because of their disguises they are able to hide from the Phaeacians. Athena had disguised Odysseus in a cloud of mist and turned herself into a little girl. Athena showed him the way to Alcinous’s palace then when they got there Odysseus was removed of his disguise.
But the famed Phaeacian sailors never saw him, right in their midst, striding down their streets. Athena the one with lovely braids would not permit it, the awesome goddess poured an enchanted mist around him, harboring kindness for Odysseus in her heart.
[The Odyssey, Book seven, lines 36-41]
Odysseus has used the power of disguise to hide himself one or two times already in the book. One of the most well known scenes from The Odyssey is when Odysseus disguises himself as an old man and kills the suitors that were bothering his wife. This comes to prove that disguise is one of the most powerful and important things for all of Odysseus journey. I have really enjoyed The Odyssey so far and will definitely expect to see the power and importance of disguise more.
Halloween night 1995
”Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
The night of Halloween, 1995. Four boys, Johnny, Ronny, Donny, and Lonny were preparing for a long night of trick or treating. They were at Johnny's house as his street was one of the best spots to trick or treat in town. They were dressed as a gang of zombies, they had ripped shirts with red face paint. Johnny pulled out four pillowcases for their candy, for they were almost ready to trick or treat. 6:30pm.
“Success is no accident it’s hard work.”
Tomorrow is the big day. That was the only thought that was running through my head the night before our big soccer tournament at Eaglebrook. Eaglebrook is a big soccer tournament that about twelve private middle schools from New England compete in at the end of the fall. Suddenly my mom gets a email from Star that Eaglebrook had been canceled because their fields were completely flooded.
Glory and Honor
Glory and honor are two major qualities in the people of Greece. In books one through six of The Odyssey, by Homer translated by Robert Fagles the people of Greece believe that glory and honor are two major qualities found in man. The people of Greece believe that people like Odysseus have glory and honor flowing throughout them. He has honor for what he does and the people he serves. The people of Greece take pride in these types of people and what they do. In Greek culture the act of laying down ones life in a battle for Greece is honorable and glorious. In the book Odysseus fantasies about the glory and honor he would have received to had he fallen in Troy for Greece. At the will of Poseidon’s terrific onslaught of waves Odysseus wishes he had a heroic death on the battle with the Trojans then he would have received a honorable and glorious death on the battle field fighting for Greece. Then he would be remembered for the glorious feats of strength and cunning he would embody.
Three, four times blessed, my friends-in-arms who died on the plains of Troy those years ago, serving the sons of Atreus to the end. Would to god I’d died there too and met my fate that day the Trojans, swarms of them, hurled at me with bronze spears, fighting over the corpse of proud Achilles! A hero’s funeral then, my glory spread by comrades — now what a wretched death I’m doomed to die!
[The Odyssey, Book Five Lines 338-345]
The reason Athena and Telemachus are trying to locate Odysseus and save him is because he posses honor and glory. In those times people would kill someone if they were jealous of them. Telemachus could easily leave his father and move on but his father is glorified within the people in Greece which means he is important. Without the traits of honor and glory possessed within Odysseus, no one would try and save him from the island. Honor and glory are primary parts of the people in Greece.
The power that gods contain
The power of gods is unmatched. In books one through six, The Odyssey, by Homer translated by Robert Fagles the Gods and Goddesses posses great power and influence over the Greek population. Gods and Goddesses like Poseidon, Athena, and Ino have made it evident they are the powers of the book. The Gods and Goddesses are the main conflicts and solutions of the overall plot evolution so far in The Odyssey. Hermes came to the island that Odysseus was trapped on by Calypso the Nymph and helped him leave in his raft. Poseidon, the God of the sea, made it hard for Odysseus to get to his destination, Scheria. Poseidon almost made Odysseus drown because he caused him to fall out of his raft, but Ino, goddess of the sea gave Odysseus a scarf that made him immortal so that he could comeplete his journey to the island Scheria.
She pitied Odysseus, tossed, tormented so —
she broke from the waves like a shearwater on the wing,
lit on the wreck and asked him kindly,
“Ah poor man, “why is the god of earthquakes so dead set against you?
Strewing your way with such a crop of troubles!
[The Odyssey, Book Five, Lines 370-374]
Gods are the authors of The Odyssey. They are what make up this book. Odysseus is being tormented and challenged by a God, Poseidon, which is making it hard for him to get to the island. The Goddess Ino is the one who helps him get to the island and peruse through Poseidon’s obstacles. The Gods and goddesses are the ones running this story, they are the conflict and the solution of the problem. Gods are ultimately the creators; they have the ability to do more than humans and it is evident in The Odyssey. Without gods and the power they contain the world wouldn’t be the same.
Around the world
As Fitz dragged the whole ninth grade to the library, so we could listen to one his good friends talk about who knows what I was thinking this could be the most pointless thing ever, or it could be kind of cool.
He talked for a little bit about what he does and I was really interested especially when he started talking about the places that he goes to these trips he goes on. What I took away from this part of the presentation was that once you find your true passion there’s no looking back from there. What I mean by this is he talked about he really didn’t like school throughout his whole life, but then he went on a trip similar to the ones he takes people on nowadays and found his true passion for basically helping people out and exploring the world. I have always wanted to go explore different countries around the world and over the summer was the first time I was able to go to another country when I went to Canada. This all relates back to The Odyssey because all of the main characters are constantly on the move and exploring new places.
The next thing we did was we separated into four groups and did an activity where we were all given a piece of paper that said who we were and what our objective was. To be honest at first I was really confused on what we were doing but as we started moving further into the activity I realized what exactly we were doing and what our end goal was. What I took away from this activity was that everyone needs help at some point whether it’s something small or something big. This activity relates to The Odyssey because in the activity one country came and helped another country and in The Odyssey because when all of the men come to land where other people are their first instinct is to help.
The final part that I found really interesting was at the end when he asked one group to describe what the other type of people were like when they were helping them out and basically everyone said something negative about the other group. Then he made someone form each group read the sheet that the other group was given and those sheets said basically the same thing about the other group. This part doesn’t really relate to The Odyssey but I just found it really interesting that everyone was saying these things about each other just based off a sheet.
After listening to Adam talk and doing the activity we did I started to realize that everything is somehow related to the real world whether it’s something small or big.
A positive attitude
A positive attitude is the key to enjoying what your doing. The book The Odyssey really challenges me to look at books with a positive attitude because of its challenging wording and phrasing. Reading The Odyssey has really made me go into books or really anything with a bit more of a positive attitude even if I really am not looking forward to it. It has really challenged me to try and dissect each quote that I use or highlight. I realized that everything has a challenge in it and to really get past the challenge especially something like The Odyssey you have to have a positive attitude. While I was reading book four of The Odyssey I felt like I did a really good job dissecting confusing sentences and phrases used. I did a good job highlighting words that I didn’t know, phrases that were weird and quotes that I found interesting or could use. This chapter has been my favorite chapter so far because there was a lot of really interesting scenes like when Eidothea, Menelaus and three other men were led to Proteus where the men ambushed him. All of this was possible because I looked at this chapter with a positive attitude. This comes to prove that if all I need to get through The Odyssey is a positive attitude then if other people look at things that they don’t want to do with a bit more of a positive attitude then they can get through them. At the beginning of reading the The Odyssey I really wasn’t looking forward to it, but with a little bit of a positive attitude I was able to get through it.
The ninth grade year so far
”It’s fun. It kind of brings a little of excitement to the game.”
SO far my ninth grade experience has been really fun and exciting. One things that’s really important when teaching 14 and 15 year old kid’s is that you have to keep them entertained and engaged. The easiest way is to make sure they’re having fun and so far the teachers have done a really good job about doing that. There are still a few things that I would change about this year so far though.
The Fenn community
I have the power of choice in every moment. Where will I place my attention? What do I hold sacred?
We all have a place where we live life at full speed, that place for me is Fenn. Having a place like this is really important because as a kid it’s important to have a place that you create brand new memories at.
Also so when you get old you can look back at your childhood and say you can brag about the fact that you better childhood then all your elderly friends.
Every once in a while when when a Fenn alumni comes back and talks about how important this place was for them and how much it helped what they do today.
I imagine with most people their special place to them has affected what they do today everyone who talks about how much Fenn has affected their life today say you realize how much of an impact it had until you leave.
I guess I’ll just have to wait and find out the truth.