Analysis Of Percy Jackson And The Olympians

2786 words - 11 pages

The fact that Percy Jackson has friends is incredible. It’s an unshakable fact that any friend of his within a ten mile radius will be in a life or death situation with him by dinner, and they aren’t always so lucky as him. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Over the course of the five-part contemporary young adult series Percy Jackson & The Olympians, titular character Percy Jackson must embrace his Greek God parentage and save Olympus with the help of his fellow demigods. The aim of this paper is to discuss his Hero’s Journey throughout the series, provide an in depth character analysis, and draw parallels between Percy and the three classic Greek heroes of mythology: Perseus, Theseus, and Hercules.

The first novel of the series, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief , is where Percy’s Hero’s Journey begins, encompassing the first five stages. The Ordinary World, the first stage, is the introduction of the main hero. “The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma” (Campbell). Percy Jackson, a twelve year old diagnosed with both dyslexia and ADHD living in New York with his loving, over-worked mother and abusive stepfather, begins his story attending a boarding school for “troubled youth” and having a less than spectacular time being the new kid. Despite his good intentions of protecting his only friend Grover from a bully, Percy gets in trouble at school and is pulled aside by one of his teachers, whom is revealed to be the Fury Alecto, one of Hades’s servants in disguise. It is at this point in the story in which the second stage, The Call to Adventure, comes into play. Percy defeats the Fury with the help of a centaur named Chiron, the trainer of the great Greek heroes, also posing as a teacher, and his friend Grover, who is actually a satyr in disguise. To avoid further attack by monsters, Percy is whisked away to the one safe haven for demigods, Camp Halfblood, where he learns that his father is actually Poseidon the sea god.

It is revealed in the third stage, Refusal of the Call, that Alecto attacked Percy because Hades believed he was behind the recent theft of Zeus’s master lightning bolt and wanted it for himself. It is then decided that to clear his name, Percy should be responsible for finding and returning the bolt by the summer solstice, just a couple of weeks away. While any other demigod would jump at the chance to be given a quest with this kind of excitement and prestige, Percy is reluctant to be put in the spotlight and would rather blend in with the crowd. The main reason is that Percy has a very low opinion of himself and doesn’t think he would be capable of succeeding, let alone returning alive. Whether he is living in the mortal world or Camp Halfblood, he feels like an outsider, isolated, and tries hard to pass the quest off to someone more experienced. However, Percy is eventually forced to accept the quest, lest he be...

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