The Searchers and The Odyssey are two tales of heroic men, monstrous obstacles, and moral values. Even though created centuries apart, both convey a story of an epic journey. The Searchers is a movie directed by John Ford in 1956. It is the story of two men, Martin and Ethan, who travel on a quest to find Ethan’s nieces, Deborah and Lucy, two young girls that were captured by the Native Americans. The Odyssey is the voyage on which Odysseus embarks in order to return home to his beautiful land of Ithaca. It is a poem that was created by Homer in the eighth century BCE. While having contrasting details and opposing views on social hierarchy, The Searchers and The Odyssey have similar characters and themes such as heroism in a leader and the meaning of family.
The importance of a family connection is evident in both John Ford’s The Searchers and Homer’s The Odyssey. Odysseus left his son when he was merely a baby, and Telemachus knows very little about him. This leaves a faulty bond between the two, but the meaning of family prevails, and they both attempt to form a relationship. Telemachus journeys to Pylos to search for news of his father, “Our mission here is personal, nothing public now. /I am on the trail of my father’s widespread fame, / you see, searching the earth to catch some news” (III 90-93). Telemachus continues to search for the missing relationship he has with his father because family is of most importance especially in the Greek culture. Telemachus and Odysseus’ relationship is similar to Uncle Ethan and Debbie’s. Ethan left when she was incredibly young and did not even recognize her when he returned from war. The initial ambition that Uncle Ethan has is to avenge his family’s death and to bring his nieces home. Martin, even though is not blood related, still feels a deep personal connection to the Edwards family and joins Ethan. Ethan’s values do get in the way of the bloodline, and he attempts to kill his assimilated niece. He searches his heart and ultimately sees Martha, his sister in law who is now deceased, in Debbie, and does not kill her. This constant change of motivation is the reflection of the debate Ethan has within himself between beliefs and family. Even through the years, this bond of blood kept these family members together and creates a more relatable storyline for both The Searchers and The Odyssey.
Heroism is a trait seen in both leaders of this 1950s movie and eighth century BCE. poem. Odysseus is known as the man of twist and turns. Similar to Odysseus, Ethan is a man of war. Ethan and Odysseus are forced into difficult decisions that a leader must make for the protection of their followers. Odysseus does this when he does not tell his crew about Scylla, the dreadful monster who will captures six men to feed each of her heads,
“So I shouted. They...