In Homer’s epic The Odyssey, the hero Odysseus attempts to complete his journey home from Troy. On his way home, however, he angers the sea god, Posiedon, who curses him to travel for ten years on the sea, to loose all his men, and to return on a stranger’s ship. During the ten years, Odysseus overcomes many hardships, and visits unique destinations in the world along the way. Each place has several symbolic meanings and themes that are found even in today’s society. During his journey, Odysseus will attempt to find his place in the world and make a name for himself, make difficult leadership decisions pertaining to his men, and tries to overcome the natural curiosity and greed that is in man’s mental makeup.
Although the lure of home drives many of Odysseus’ reactions to the obstacles and challenges that are placed in his path, he also follows the calling of a more subtle force. This force is what makes him go to Troy in the first place, and is what dictates his actions on his journey home. The force is Odysseus’ own desire to make a name for himself in the world, and to become one of its heroes, forever remembered in song. When his men had reached the Land of the Lotus, he was careful not to eat of the food there. The fruit of the Lotus would cause the consumer to forget who he was, and his quest in life, replacing all impulses that had existed before with only one desire: to eat of he plant (Timeless Myths). Odysseus, however, did not wish to submit to the “passive peace of the Lotus Lands” for two reasons: one more obvious [the desire to return home to his family], and the other hidden but just as strong [the antipathy he possessed about his name diminishing to nothingness on an island] (Steiner 112). In fact, this pride is what spurred his outburst when leaving the land of the Cyclops. He had outwitted and injured the monstrous beast, and yet, it was not enough. When he deemed that he was far enough away, he shouted his true name back to the Cyclops, making sure that the Cyclops knew that it had been he, Odysseus, who had put out his eye (Timeless Myths). Although this action may seem to have been rash and stupid to outsiders, Odysseus was actually insuring that he would not be thought of as Outis [nobody] (Steiner 120).
Women Have the Right to a Safe Abortion
Women Have the Right to a Safe Abortion
The Supreme Court decision in 1973 on the case of Roe v. Wade was supposed to mark the beginning of privacy and safety for women facing unwanted pregnancies. But, as Anna Quindlen states: “The right to choose became the right to convince a judge that you should have an abortion because you couldn’t dare tell your parents. It became the right to walk through keening demonstrators, strangers begging you not to kill your baby. It became the right to be treated by a doctor who the next day could end up dead, murdered because of his work” (Quindlen, 86).
The Christian Bible is silent on the topic of abortion. Why? Some suggest that it is because it would be unthinkable for to an Israelite woman to terminate a pregnancy. However, it is known that abortion was practiced in the ancient world. In Assyria, Israel’s neighbor, there were rules concerning self-induced abortion. In both the Old and New Testaments, the Israelites condemn the unsavory practices of their neighbors, such as idol worship and sacred prostitution. But no mention of abortion is made. The commandment that “Thou shall not kill” also has holes in it as Biblical proof against abortion. The commandment did not apply to all living things indiscriminately; the Israelites were expected to kill animals for food and sacrifice, as well as to end the existence of their enemies, such as the Philistines. The answer, then, is not so cut-and-dried. A good question to ask: is the fetus a person, or when does it become one, and of what value in comparison to the woman who carries it (Ward)?
A zygote, or fertilized ovum, is a potential human life, but not yet an actuality. It is a cluster of cells far less deve…
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…at misses the bedrock fact about abortion: it’s never just about science” (France and Rosenburg, 30).
In the United States, the question is not between abortion or no abortion, but of safe, legal abortion or unsafe, illegal or self-procedures. A question that real live women deal with. “You don’t know them. You don’t know what’s in their hearts or their minds or their wombs. And, frankly, it’s none of your business. The biggest mirage of all is that it is” (Quindlen, 86).
Mifepristone puts the choice literally in the woman’s hands. However, a better solution would be to prevent conception altogether. In France, where RU-486 was discovered, surgical abortions are still more popular than the pill. But places, such as the Netherlands, where contraceptives are readily available and covered by health insurance, abortion rates are dramatically less.