Greek Mythology in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ focuses on Greek mythology and interprets this into a children’s story. Throughout the story, there are many references and adaptations to mythological tales, and each one is portrayed in a different way. Riordan writes this story as though Hercules, Zeus and Poseidon were still around today, and this would be the effect they would have on people in this day and age.
Percy Jackson is the main character in this story, who is a demi god, who mortals are after. His name is short for Perseus and his father is one the big three gods, Poseidon. He is suffering from dyslexia and ADHD, ...view middle of the document...
Such as Percy Jackson, portraying the hero which is Perseus. There are different adaptations and different characters throughout the book that are added to make use of different Greek mythological characters.
The first mythological reference to note is when Mrs. Dodd’s, transforms into one of the Three Furies, and (Riordan, 2005, p.12) ‘Her jacket melted into leathery wings. She was a shriveled hag with bat wings and claws.’ Furies were female spirits who tormented evil people, especially anyone who had committed a crime against a family member. The relationship between Mrs. Dodd’s and Percy is very biased and she seems to pick on him more than anyone else. This may be because of Percy, making his mums life hard, which is something, the Furies do not appreciate, and so they make Percy a target. He also does not do very well in school, and to a teacher, this may label the child as an ‘evildoer’ and would therefore make him a target. The effect this myth has on the story is that it is the first mythological reference we interpret, and therefore sets the scene for the rest of the story. It also foreshadows what is to come for Percy along the way, and the many evils which stand in his way, on his quest to the underworld.
As the story progresses, Percy comes across three old ladies who were sitting in rocking chairs knitting socks. However, Percy was very wary of them, (Riordan, 2005, p.26) ‘The weirdest thing was, they seemed to be looking right at me.’ These three old ladies are being portrayed as the Three Fates, who were old hags who controlled the destiny of all living things from birth to death, and they decided the fate of a person’s life by spinning thread. So the fact they are (Riordan, 2005, p.25) ‘knitting the biggest pair of sock I had ever seen’ shows that Percy Jackson has got a long life ahead of him. The effect this myth has on the story, gives this passage a real creepy and haunted scene, leaving the reader in the dark as to what the old ladies really do symbolize. It also makes us think more about the character Percy in ways of what really does lie ahead for him, and what the old ladies could represent for anyone who doesn’t understand what they represent.
Percy Jackson’s mum in the story is called Sally Jackson who was in a relationship with Poseidon, who left her to go on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean, and he never came back. Sally is now married to Gabe who wasn’t very nice, smelt and didn’t really care about Percy, but Sally may have married Gabe to protect Percy, because the smell may keep the monsters and bad away from him. We also get the feeling off Gabe that he doesn’t want Percy around (Riordan, 2005, p.32) ‘During school months, it was Gabe’s ‘study’. He didn’t study anything in there other than old car magazines, but he loved shoving my stuff in the closet, leaving his muddy boots on the windowsill.’ and would be happy to see him go, which is the same in the story of Perseus, where Polydectes tries to get rid of...