The life of a God, forever bliss, complete happiness: Odysseus slights all of these things in order for him to return to his loving wife and son. The concept of true commitment was a very commendable quality for a Greek hero to possess. With this character trait, Odysseus models the ideal husband, father, and leader. Unfortunately, in today’s society, one rarely encounters such outstanding morality. Being raised in an explicit society, a decrease in certain morals has become fashionable. In particular, the college experience has become accepted as the “wild times” of one’s life. Certain activities ordinarily shunned are now perceived as a learning experience when involving a college student. Drugs and alcohol abuse are commonplace around the college campus, as is sexual promiscuity. In addition, the amount of college dropouts after the first year is at a high rate. Today’s average student does not seem to contend with hardship very well. These things seem to increase at an outstanding rate with no sign of leveling. Odysseus faced all of these things, yet still made it back home. Some of the decisions of Odysseus probably were accepted as required actions in ancient times, but in today’s hedonistic world, not every person-- especially the typical male college student-- would be able to resist the wonders of temptation that were presented to Odysseus.
The Odyssey’s main theme involves the exploring of the hardships Odysseus endures. Ranging from a whirlpool, unfavorable winds, and a visit to the Cyclops, disaster finds him at every turn. Zeus decided Odysseus’s fate when he proclaimed:
let him depart.
But let him have no company, gods or men,
Only a raft that he must lash together,
And after twenty days, worn out at sea,
He shall make land upon the garden aisle. (263)
This edict of Zeus summarizes the journey Odysseus makes in order to return home. He endures dire hardships to make the journey home, yet he still chooses to continue forward. Although Odysseus accepts this hardship as a mere speed bump, many people today would not prevail through such adversity. A knack for finding the easy way out has seemed to blossom as the one uniform skill possessed by most young people today. With today’s technology, a person rarely spends an afternoon by himself, and if so, would not like it. With this in mind, choosing to continue on with the journey in present times would be much harder of a decision to make than in ancient times.
Another problem around school campuses is the growing rate of alcohol and drug abuse amongst students. Extreme marijuana usage has taken claim to many victims. The drug may not kill the person using it, but it does kill motivation. The drug becomes a part of the user’s life, and the user will eventually become lethargic. This...