Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Odyssey

In The Odyssey by Homer, both Odysseus and Telemakhos are both transformed and affected by the relationships that they have with the gods. Without the relationship they have with the gods, they would never have been able to overcome the adversity that was set in front of them.

Athena befriends Telemakhos and helps him get through a tough time in his life were he feels he need to live up to his fathers expectations and take action and control over his house. Athena encourages him and gives him the tools he needs to overcome the pressure and become his fathers’ son. Through his relationship with Athena he is transformed from a boy into a man.

Odysseus also has relationships with the gods that help him to shape who he becomes. In some instances he has negative relationships that he learns from. When he yells his name back to the Cyclopes he shows his hubris and in doing so leaves himself vulnerable to the wrath of Poseidon. Although Poseidon is not on Odysseus’ side, the interaction from him magnifies Odysseus’ mistake and teaches him not to be so prideful and that he needs to be humble. Odysseus also has a relationship with Athena where she is helping him to return home to his family and his life. Through her help and influence, Odysseus knows how to act and what to say in the situations he encounters.

The relationships that Odysseus and Telemakhos both have help them to grow and become a better version of themselves. They took and learned from the advise the gods gave them and the relationship they had formed.

Are we going to the Lighthouse?

How are people transformed through their relationships with others?

People are negatively and positively impacted by the relationships they have with the people around them. In To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, James is negatively impacted by the relationship that he has with his father. James is always asking if they are going to the Lighthouse. He is wishing and hoping for something that is denied to him by his father. His father Mr. Ramsay always tells him that there will be no trip to the Lighthouse, seeming almost to get pleasure out of doing so. James resents his father and harbors a grudge against him, resulting in a negative energy between the two characters.

But his son hated him. He hated him for coming up to them, for stopping and looking down on them; he hated him for interruption them; he hated him for the exaltation and sublimity of his gestures; for the magnificence of his head; for his exactingness and egotism…but most of all he hated the twang and twitter of his father’s emotion which, vibrating round them, disturbed the perfect simplicity and good sense of his relation with his mother (pg 36-37).

His father also impacts James’ relationship with his mother and is very bitter about this. James looks to his mother for support and love that he doesn’t receive from his father. When his father is around James doesn’t get his mothers full attention.

As James grew older his bitterness towards his father consumed him and eventually he becomes like his father, moody and seeking praise from others. His relationship transformed him to become like the person he hated most.