Death And Loss In The Odyssey

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The definition of a journey is extremely broad; it is simply to travel from one place to the next and consists of a start, a middle, and an end. A journey is able to be delightful or distressing; the possibilities are endless. Humans lives are one humongous journey. Furthermore, it is common for humans to write about these journeys and include them in literature. The Odyssey by Homer takes place after the Trojan War and tells the arduous and frustrating story of a demigod and his journey to return home. Correspondingly, The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz is about a group of people and their extensive journey to freedom, however this story takes place during World War II. Despite the difference in time period and setting, a common theme is found in these works. The…show more content…
No one can avoid death; it’s icy grasp can claim anyone at any moment. Mortality creates a dismal tone due to the grief it causes and it instills a fear of death in the characters of The Long Walk and The Odyssey. This inevitability is the role death and loss play on the journeys in both novels. As Odysseus sails on his expedition home with his crew, they come across many punishing obstacles, however the most life threatening beast they escape from is Skylla. Odysseus describes how “Every man was pale with fear... at the same moment Skylla grabbed six of [his] men...there in the cave she devoured them, shrieking and stretching out their hands to [him]”

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