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"The Odyssey" By Homer Compared To "Into Thin Air" By Jon Krakauer

657 words - 3 pages

Have you ever noticed how people tend to have some verypositive traits, but then they cancel them out with negative traits? This is a typicalaspect of human nature.Human nature is not perfect; it is a very intricate web oftraits, both positive and negative. This aspect of human nature is shown in bothThe Odyssey by Homer,with Odysseus, and Into Thin Air, by John Krakauer, withJohn. They are both intelligent men, they can make some very poordecisions.Odysseus is very intelligent. He uses his intelligence againstPolyphemus, and escapes from him. Odysseus first uses hisintelligence when he tells the Cyclops that his name is nobody:" 'Nobody-- that's my name. Nobody-- so my mother and father callme, and my friends'"(223, lines 410-411).When he gouges theCyclops's eye, the Cyclops tries to obtain aid from his friends andscreams out " 'Nobody, friends. Nobody's killing me now by fraud andnot by force [brains, not braun]!' "(224, lines 453-454). His friends reply, " 'If you'realone, and nobody is trying to overpower you now-- look, it must be aplague sent here by mighty Zeus and there's no escape from that.' " (224,lines 455-459). Odysseus managed to fool all of the Cyclops with his intelligence.But only a short while after, his tendency to make poor decisionscomes into play.Odysseus, showing his poor-decision-making trait, escapes the island andthan only a short distance from the shore, he foolishly taunts the Cyclops, andalmosts pays for his poor decision with his life: " ' So, Cyclops, no weak cowardit was whose crew you bent to devour there in your vaulted cave-- you with yourbrute force! Your filthy crimes came down upon your own head, you shamelesscannibal, daring to eat your guest in your own house-- so Zeus and the other godshave paid you back!' " (226, lines 531-536). Upon hearing that, Polyphemus, hurls amassive piece of a crag at the ship, and is a very short distance shy of obliteratingthe ship and it's...

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