What Is The Difference Between The Odyssey And The Best Years Of Our Life

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When faced with war soldiers change, for better or for worse. Modern culture celebrates the glory of patriotic sacrifice. However, this celebration often leaves out the gritty details and trauma of violence behind war and the way it affects people. Homer’s The Odyssey and William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives clearly discuss these details. Both debate the long-awaited return of warriors that went off to fight a war and the way the experience changes the protagonists. A warrior’s homecoming is typically thought to be full of loving comfort from family and friends, exemplified in images in popular culture. However, there is in fact a tragedy behind the whole ordeal, caused by the lack of effective communication by the homecoming warriors. Coming home from war may regularly be exhibited as an emotional and heartwarming event, but there is an inherently tragic distance between a warrior and their family. This …show more content…

In The Odyssey, everyone Odysseus reveals himself to is glad he has returned and he has no trouble connecting with them. However, this is not because Odysseus is somehow superior emotionally; it is a result of the circumstances he is returning to. The suitors “infest [the] palace day and night, / … feasting themselves sick, swilling [the] glowing wine / as if there’s no tomorrow-all of it, squandered” (Homer 2.59-62). Telemachus never took Odysseus’ place, so Ithaca has had to survive for years without a ruler. Unlike Al’s return in The Best Years of Our Lives, the people Odysseus returns to want things to return to the way things were before he left. In this case Odysseus brings things back to normal by killing all of the suitors, which comprise of the entire royal class. Tragedies such as these are inevitable when things are forced to revert back to how they were originally after years of

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