, Research Paper
Home is Where the Heart is
In life we all struggle and search for happiness and love. We are in a constant pursuit to find and hold onto the things that we hold dear to ourselves. This is much like the book The Odyssey. Odysseus was on a search to find his way back to the things that brought him peace and happiness. The book was very much like our own lives and though this supposedly happened hundreds of years ago, this is the same journey we live through.
From the beginning of the story it seems as though Odysseus has reached a high in his life. His son was born and his wife was healthy. But, he was called away to battle. This was the ultimate hurt for him. He did not know what would happen to him or if he would even live. He still goes because he is an honorable man and fights the battle. When the battle is over they are to return home and try to do so. They are beaten and worn from battle, but the keep going. They have no idea what they are about to experience. First they land on the home of Cyclops and he eats some of the men. They escape with a few gone and keep sailing. The god Aeolus sees this and decides to give them help. He gives them a bag of wind and tells them not open it for he has given them fair winds for their journey home. The gods do this as a gesture of respect and help, and expect the same thing back. Yet, not far from Ithaca and while Odysseus slept, the men open the bag and are blow away from Ithaca. They have violated the gods and Poseidon is upset. So they are then wrecked on the island of the Laestrygonians, who are cannibals and some of the men are eaten yet again eaten. Yet, they keep sailing on. This time they landed on what appeared to be an uninhabited island, so Odysseus sends some men to find out what was going on. A scurrying pig interrupts the leisure of the remaining men. They are very hungry and wanted to kill it, but another crewmember warns them not to. They follow the pig back and find beautiful women in an extravagant palace. This is Circe, and she has turned his men into farm animals. There was one way to get the men back and that was to sleep with her. So Odysseus gives in and does the deed. Circe has powers that Odysseus did not know about, she fed the starving men, anointed them with oils, and let them rest in her palace. After what they thought was about five days that want to leave, now Circe decides to be truthful, it had really been five years. The men are outraged and in disbelief. They wanted to return home so bad. Circe begs Odysseus to stay, and he refuses. Realizing that he loved Penelope, Circe agrees to help them along their way. She tells them of the trips to Hades they must make and warns them of the obstacles on their way. She tells them that if they respect and listen to her they will make it home safe.
So they repair the ship and set sail again. The crew makes their trip to Hades and regains some respect from the gods they have violated. So they make their way across the seas, they come upon the island of the Sirens; Odysseus was warned about their singing. Circe had told him to stop his men?s ears with wax or else they would be uncontrollably lured to the island of singing women. So Odysseus listens and does this to his men, yet he binds himself to the bow of the ship. He tells one of his men that no matter what he says not to let him go. They sail past without mishap, although Odysseus was screaming to be freed. The gods are thinking that maybe finally they have learned their lesson, but there were a few trials let for them to conquer.
The men then preserved through the monster Scylla, and the huge whirlpool Charybois. They are extremely happy to have survived only losing a few men. But, the biggest battle is to come. The men are then shipwrecked of the island of Hyperion where the sun gods keep their cattle. Circe said that no matter how hunger they were, not to touch the cattle. After one month of being stranded on the island, and many months of not eating, the men go crazy. They slaughter every cow in sight. They then sailed from the island, and the thunderbolts thrown by Zeus drown everyone except Odysseus. Odysseus floats to Calypso?s island. Calypso offers Odysseus eternal life and many great things. After many years of begging, Calypso lets Odysseus free with a small raft. About this time Poseidon is returning from being elsewhere, he is angered and gives Odysseus harsh seas.
Odysseus landed on the land of the Phaeacians. They take him in and hear his tales. They also plan a mission to get the poor man back to Ithaca. Upon arrival he hides out until it was safe for him to return and make an announcement of his presence. He does this by killing all of those who had betrayed him while he was gone. He is reunited with his wife and son. There is peace in Ithaca once again.
The story of Odysseus?s journey is much like the one we live. We race to find and keep what we love. No matter how far we are from what we love and how hopeless it seems we still try to get back to what we love. Odysseus and his wife were separated for nineteen years, yet they still were devoted and loved one another. This is the strong bond of love and the journey of his life. Yet, it is not only the journey of his life, it is also the journey of our lives too. We might not be in search of our wife and son, but we in search of something to love and hold dear to ourselves. This is a journey we will all make and hopefully succeed in. Home is where the heart is, it does not matter where or what that home is, but that is where your heart is.