Compare And Contrast Poseidon And Solomon In The Odyssey

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Solomon Northup/Odysseus Essay

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an odyssey is defined as, “a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune.” The PBS video, Solomon Northup’s Odyssey, displays the hardships of a free African American man who is kidnapped and forced into slavery. During Northup’s twelve year journey as a slave, he faced many unfavorable consequences and few fortunes. Comparatively, in one of Homer’s Greek Epics, The Odyssey, the main character, Odysseus, is held captive by the nymph Calypso and continuously attacked by the God of the Seas, Poseidon. Both stories study men who are isolated from their lives and families back home, but do what they are told and hope to return one day.
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For example, Solomon did not deserve to be enslaved and did nothing that would lead his kidnappers to sell him into slavery. Solomon was very respectable to the men he met and was only taken advantage of because of his skin color, which is no excuse to take a man from his family. On the other hand, Odysseus blinded the cyclops Polyphemus, who unbeknownst to him was a son of Poseidon. Because of this, Poseidon had a reason for attacking Odysseus. He wanted to get back at him for the wrongdoing that Odysseus did to his family. And unlike Odysseus’s epic voyage, Solomon’s was a real life story. The suffering was real, the pain was felt, and all of it actually happened and affected people’s lives. Fictional odysseys, or adventures may be created with the intention of entertainment, but in a realistic odyssey, like Solomon’s, the downturns are excruciating to endure and definitely troublesome for the readers to hear about. Slavery was the country’s biggest concern at the time, and still looked as one of the biggest issues our country has ever faced. On top of this, when Odysseus was taken away, he was never forced to work like Solomon. Sure, Odysseus was forced against his will, but Poseidon wanted more than anything revenge. Conversely, Solomon’s master’s reason for having slaves was because of greed. Driven by greed, Solomon had to put in laborious hours all for the benefit of another

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