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The Trials of Odysseus

Much of modern literature and beliefs can be found in The Odyssey. The epic stands as the basis for the adventure genre. Heroes, mystery, action, and bloodshed can all be found in Homer’s timeless classic. However, The Odyssey also contains one major concept that is a part of everyone’s life. Everyone must at one time or another prove themselves. And that is the foundation of Odysseus’ story. He, a warrior meant to die on the battleground at Troy, survived to set sail back to his home of Ithaca. For this the gods had him prove himself. Throughout The Odyssey it is constantly shown that in order for one to earn his right to live, he must first prove himself in the battle of life where his only weapons are his intellect, his sense of trust, and the strength of pure determination.

Throughout The Odyssey, often times Odysseus is forced to call upon his intellect rather than his warrior instinct in order to pass another godly test. At one point in The Odyssey, Odysseus and his comrades are taken prisoner in the titanic cave of Polyphemus the Cyclops. A colossal boulder keeps Odysseus and his men from escaping. Rather than slaying the formidable adversary, Odysseus devises a plan more of a scholar than a relentless warrior. This becomes known as Odysseus recounts his story to the Phaecians, telling them that, “ ‘I [Odysseus] formed the plan within my daring heart of closing on him [Polyphemus the Cyclops], drawing my sharp sword from my thigh, and stabbing him… Yet second thoughts restrained me… for we could never with our hands have pushed from the lofty door the enormous stone which he had set against it’ ” (85). Odysseus’ strong intelligence outweighs those of his warrior comrades, who would have been quick to slay the giant. Had Odysseus sent the Cyclops to Hades, he and his men would surely have followed. However, this was not to be, as Odysseus does not let the warrior in him direct his actions as a leader.

Throughout his adventures, Odysseus must also rely on his intellect to rid of those who restrain him from reaching Ithaca. On the island of Ogygia, Odysseus is kept a reluctant guest at the halls of the goddess-nymph Calypso. Odysseus, who sees that he cannot escape by means of battle, turns to flattery.

Toni Morrison’s Sula – Breaking the Rules

Breaking the Rules in Sula

A community separates themselves from other individuals in a given society. Certain communities carry their own separate rules or laws. It combines a number of people into one group, one way of thinking. Many communities come together because they share the same common goal or interests. On may occasions, a group or community forms when someone is different from the majority. A good example of that would be when a child is being teased in school because he has glasses or braces. Toni morrison’s Sula is a story about a woman whose individuality brought a little town in Ohio together to side with each other against her.

The novel Sula raises the question in how people or communities come together. In Sula’s case, her abandonment of the town has sent her in a position of being an outcast. Sula’s community views her carefree and wild ways obscene and inappropriate. A good example would be her need for many sexual partners. Sula beds with many of the men in her town, whether they were married or not. ” It was the only place where she could find what she was looking for: misery and an ability to feel deep sorrow .Lovemaking seemd to her, at first, the creation of a special kind of joy.” (122) Her community believes a good woman her age should be a mother, wife and server to her household. A woman should remain at home and be dutiful and respectful. Sula is was not any of those things. From the start, she has always have been different, she preferred to do whatever it is that she likes to do. She went away to college , something that most people from her town seldom did. Sula went away to pursue a career and to fulfill her need for knowledge. She wanted to do everything to see everything and experiences as much experience as she could possibly gain while she was still young.

It was peculiar to see the town coming together when Sula arrived back from college. Suddenly people in the town started siding with each other against Sula. They started viewing Sula as an oddball, a devil, as one lady described her, comparing Sula to the town outcast named Shadrack. The town started to look out for each other as well as they try to look out for themselves.

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