personal response

During a month we were reding and discussing Homer ” Odyssey”. Since I was a kid, Greek mythology was always interesting for me. Odyssey was written in the 8th century and it shows the reader culture and morality of that time. Talking about the main character Odysseus, I can say I never liked him.  I think it because of my own response and gap between generations, as the idea of living and morals change thought this time.  If we look at the plot in this story, for 21st-century people it might seem boring and no realistic, in my opinion, most of the book was not as interesting as the rest pages. As an example during the course of Odysseus’s travel, he met different creatures, as the one-eyed giant Cyclops, the witch Circe, and the perilous waters surrounding the island of the Sirens. When Odysseus is telling his adventures, it was interesting, but overall, in my opinion for 16 yo students, this book might not seem like the best book. Language in this poem used to catch reader’s attention and as we noticed imagery and personification used by the author, as an example in Book 12, Odysseus also describes Dawn’s “rose-red fingers,” which is both personification (of Dawn as a woman with fingers) and visual imagery. The structure of this book is very strange and doesn’t occur to most of the ook we used to read, as the timeline doesn’t go straight. In the middle of the book when Odysseus is describing his journey, he was already back in his home.  One of the main questions from the book is the relationship between men and women. In this book we can clearly see how women were treated at this time, in 21st century it might seem crazy for some people, but in the 8th century, it was completely normal. A great example of that is how in Greek mythology, women were represented as evil monsters, but Greeks always respected and were afraid of female goddesses, due to fair of power of goddesses. So, at this time people were treating women differently from nowadays, but at the same time Greeks were  As a conclusion, I can say that the book is interesting for some people, and for readers who are looking into details. I don’t think to force students to read something even is it’s extremely boring, won’t make them like literature or prepare them for “real life”, it will only make them hate books and think all of the literature is boring (depending on their experience), but unfortunately, that’s how education works, and all we can do is follow the flow.


The Odyssey reflection

For the last few weeks, we have been reading the Odyssey by Homer. During this period of time, i learned one very important thing. Whatever you think could happen in this book, you are wrong. This book is confusing, but sometimes actually interesting. I have always enjoyed Greek mythology, as a kid, I always read about it. Even though I would not consider myself a big fan of this book, some parts kept me interested.


What does odysseus want?

in the odyssey, Odysseus attempts to get back home during 10 years, he gets to go through hard situations and strange locations but at first his main goal is to get back to his family and wife, get home, but during his travels another force gets to him, even the same force that made him go to troy In the first place, the need to make his name big, to be remembered, to get to be a hero. For example in the Island of the lotus eaters he did not eat the plant because that plant made you forget who you were and your quest in life, which can be two, get back home and never forget his name.

When he encounters the cyclops when he escaped he shouted his true name, making sure that the cyclops knew that was him, Odysseus, because of that Poseidon got mad at him and made a storm fall on them. So in all the examples you can see that his main goal is get home, but he sometimes get distracted on making clear that people remember him and because of that he gets delayed on getting home.


Personal Response: The Odyssey -Kelvin M.

I found Homer’s ‘The Odyssey‘ fairly enjoyable as a class read. It was quite an intriguing and alluring odyssey, or adventure, tale. It’s wide cast of characters each portrayed lively and on-spot depth of personality, and its messing with the generic chronological order of storytelling simply makes the whole journey more well paced and entertaining as an entire read.

One of my personal favorite parts of the novel were when Odysseus tells his adventures to the Phaiakians. The adventure part I was quite very fond of for many reasons, firstly how it was so full of content. Many events were described, but some in detail and others brief. A wide range of different adventures kept grasping the heart of adventure within me and kept driving me forward the book. I felt this part was especially well written considering the compromises made when deciding the lengths of each small adventure and how the whole journey is told from a first-person perspective, one of the hardest perspectives of narration to write in. Homer and Robert Fitzgerald really pulled all that off nicely.

Another part of the book I thoroughly enjoyed was when Odysseus finally returns to Ithaka, kills the suitors, and reunites with his family. This part of the book was particularly entertaining as it triggered the inner youth desiring for violence and bloodshed within me. The entire fight sequence was written in a well choreographed way, the protagonists move from one action to another with almost some kind of fluidity. The writing brilliantly captured the chaos of the crowded battle and the strength of our heroes, heavily outnumbered yet claiming victory.

Overall The Odyssey was very enjoyable. It holds up as its place of being one of the oldest adventure epics in human history, telling a truly brilliant tale of a great hero’s journey homeward. It also certainly raises my interests in greek mythology as well.


Personsal Response To The Odyssey

Personally, the odyssey was too mature for me, and it wasn’t necessarily enjoyable. Not just because I don’t like reading but because, like you said, there are a lot of parts in the book that require background experiences that at 15 I haven’t had the chance to experience. For example, how Odysseus goes off to war for 20 years and he expects everyone to put their life on pause and wait for him. That could relate to going off to college or travelling for a work experience. I can see how the book can give us warning that this will be the case in real life but with out the experience to us or to me it was just made up scenarios that I didn’t have any connection to. Another example which you talked about in class was when Odysseus found out his mother had passed on because of heartbreak. I haven’t lost my mother or my father so I can’t imagine how heartbroken Odysseus would be, on the other hand if I had lost my mother I could tie my own experiences to the book and relate more with Odysseus. Overall I think this would be a great book for a group of older readers who have the necessary experiences to understand The Odyssey.


Personal Response to the Odyssey

The Odyssey is a twelve thousand lines poem written by the Greek poet Homer. This poem writes about Odysseus, a Greek hero (demi-god), and his twenty-year journey.

In The Odyssey, you can find that almost all the Greek tradition/habits/morals greatly differs from most modern ones. Starting from society structure, women in most cases are viewed as evil people and are treated wrongly by men. It is perfectly normal for a man to have sex with other female whilst married, but for women, it won’t be okay. This can be proved by taking a look at Plato’s Meno, in which Meno responded to Socrates that a man’s good virtue is to manage his city well and have good wealth, while a woman’s good virtue is displayed in the ability to manage her household (chores) and take care of their children. Another interesting perspective about Ancient Greek culture is that they see their fame as immortality. Achilles, the great warrior, is a prime example. The demi-god fought bravely in the Trojan war and died with glory upon his name. To him, his purpose in life has been reached. All these settings are in place for contrasting Odysseus from the other Greeks. An argument could be made from the fact that he cheated on his wife for a whole year, but he never saw her as someone worse than himself. He always wanted to go home to his wife, and relentlessly tried for twenty years. He was never into fame, when the war was called upon him, he thought that his family is more important than fame and tried to pretend to be insane, but when they threatened him with his baby he yielded and agreed to go to Troy.

Homer also implemented numerous language tools, for example, repetition. The phrase “Grey-eyed Athena” appeared throughout the poem almost every time Athena, the goddess of wisdom is mentioned. These expressions, almost standardized, are for easier memorization. The Greeks didn’t write the story of Odysseus down on paper until Homer, but rather memorized it and made it easy to remember with repetition. Another notable thing with his poem is that at times things get very technical, such as the boat making portion of the story. All those subject-specific nouns are difficult to get through at first. However, parts of the stories sometimes get vague, especially if it’s related to mystical creatures or acts of gods. The combination of both science and myths kept the story interesting even though it may get hard to comprehend some of the lines in the poem.

The Odyssey certainly wasn’t the easiest to comprehend but was worth the time investigating and figuring out meanings behind the stanzas. It showed me a whole new society/culture and enhanced my appreciation of being alive in our times. I was particularly impressed by how Homer invited us on an impossible journey alongside Odysseus with his accurate-to-detail description and out-of-the-world creativity. This poem certainly will invite me to pick it up from my bookshelf someday later in my life and along with it, enjoying a peaceful afternoon tea when I sail with Odysseus on our way back to Ithaca once again.


Personal Response: The Odyssey

For the most part, I enjoyed reading The Odyssey by Homer. It was hard to understand at first because of the many new characters and their part in the story. Later on, it got easier as their storylines became clearer.

The part of The Odyssey that I liked the most was actually the end when Odysseus returned to Ithaka and killed all the suitors that had been chasing his wife Penelope in his absence. Most people didn’t believe that he was Odysseus at first because he had been away for so long and looked weathered and gaunt. This part was the easiest for me to understand I think because there were no new characters introduced. In the last chapter, I also knew that all of the suitors were going to be killed by Odysseus so I was expecting it.

The rest of the book was difficult for me to understand because there were so many characters and so much going on. I also thought that the chapters were jumping between characters and that also made it harder to understand.

In blood and dust he saw that crowd all fallen, many and many slain. [421.432-433]

This quotation is right after Odysseus killed all of the suitors. There were hundreds and he killed them all with his bow and arrow. A couple of them pleaded not to be killed claiming they were innocent but Odysseus didn’t believe them. This is also a good example of imagery in the poem as it put a vivid image of bloodshed in my mind.

The setting of the poem is somewhat like our world and somewhat not. For example,  we do not have an island with Kyklopses nor do we have any Seirenes. This quotation about the Seirenes is from Book 12:

Listen with care to this now, and a god will arm your mind. Square in your ship’s path are the Seirenes, crying beauty to bewitch men coasting by. [210.46-49]

Other than a couple of things I think that the setting is sort of similar to our world. In the poem, wars are fought with men in boats who have also left loved ones behind.

Sometimes the story would shock me a little like when the Kyklops started to eat all of Odysseus’ men instead of holding them in their cave.

The language of the book was written in an older language and with a different word order than what I am used to. Sometimes I feel that this made the story a little harder to follow.

We are from Troy, Akhaians, blown off course by shifting gales on the Great South Sea; homward bound, but taking routes and ways uncommon; so the will of Zeus would have it. [152.281-284]

I feel if more common English would have been used in the translation, it would have made it easier to understand.


The Odyssey – Personal Response

The Odyssey by Homer, is a classic that thousands of students greatly enjoyed, I am not one of those students. I’m sure many people would disagree with the statements I’m about to make but this is a personal response so I must respond accordingly.

Personally, I found the language very confusing and hard to follow. The sentence structure and old English words threw me off when I was already confused by the plot of the book itself. I understand that the language used reflects on the time period the book was written in but I’m still unsure what we are supposed to be learning from reading this. For example, Some books like Animal Farm or other totalitarianism related novels help us understand types of governments to avoid and they have more of a real life concept. I am struggling to understand what this book was supposed to help us understand other than Greek Folklore. I tried to come up with a possible meaning of the plot of the book to give myself a better understanding of why we read this book. I came up with the idea that the whole journey Odysseus went on was a metaphor for someone’s life. For example, In your life you will experience manipulative people, similar to the Sirens, You may experience drugs, similar to the Lotus Eaters, and in the end you will have grown just as Telemachus did and relate closer to your parents as you become an adult. To me, this concept made the most sense out of any ideas I thought of.

In conclusion, I like books that have a bigger meaning, something that has a bigger and more realistic concept than just going on a 20 year long adventure to get home. That is why I didn’t enjoy The Odyssey.


The Odyssey/Personal Response- Angelina Blacklaws

I have heard great things about “The Odyssey” but to be honest, it is not one I would read again. The language is very complex, mature and hard to follow. In my opinion, I think adults that read this book would have a better time reading it and actually enjoying it other then myself who has to ask multiple questions per book. For the parts that were explained in class when questions were asked, it was not so bad. Overall, not a terrible book but just not of my liking.


Personal Response The Odyssey

The setting of the Odyssey is very different than the world I live in, because many of the locations are places that Homer made up, like Ogygia and Aeaea. In addition, it is different because places like Tartarus and Sicily, the Island of Polyphemus, either do not exist or do exist but have creatures from Mythology inhabiting them which are not real. I think that most of the locations in the Odyssey are very frightening and wild. Many of the places seem to be uninhabited by people or are inhabited by uncivilized, violent monsters. Another difference is that the places that are civilized all pay tribute to the gods and some places have a huge temple dedicated to one god, like Athena. In this day and age, there are not really temples dedicated to one god, but there are churches. Furthermore, I would describe the setting of the Odyssey as fascinating, because it shows me how people lived when the story was written and the things that they valued and defined as making a place civilized.


What does Odysseus want?

In Homer’s “The Odyssey”, we see the main protagonist, Odysseus, go through a multitude of difficult and life-threatening tasks, having to utilize his superior intellect as well as apply his inner tactician to survive, but what exactly keeps his head up through all these hardships and losses of companions?

His primary objective is to return to his home town of Ithaca, and rejoice with his family he has longed for for years, and his second, to strike down all the suitors that are rudely occupying his hall.

But at times in the story it seems he is quite stubborn and lustful for other things, for example when he stops at Kirke’s island, instead of departing after saving his comrades, he decides to stay for a year and reside in Kirke’s home, which is simply the human nature of being lazy.


Major Questions – Odysseus’s Characteristics

As we have stumbled upon all twenty-two chapters, we come to understand what Odysseus’s characteristics are, how and why he behaves the way he does. Odysseus has qualities that most would consider charismatic, he appears to be a very brave and devoted man. Mentioned in BOOK IX, Odysseus proves his bravery by revealing his identity to Polyphemos and tells him every detail needed for the Kyklops to take revenge upon him. Another quality he carries includes him being physically and mentally strong. In BOOK XIX, after the long dreadful journey he had gone through, Odysseus kept his emotions to himself when he returned to his palace and had a conversation with Penelope as a disguise without leaving any trace of his real identity. Being humble was a trait Odysseus had, he always asks for advice from others and never bragged about being a hero despite the fact he technically is one. However, as time has passed, Odysseus had developed from humble to a term I would describe as “arrogant”, there was one or two sentences I have read in the past chapters in which Odysseus introduces himself as the son of Laertes and is a well-known man among mankind. From my point of view, this comes off as a conceited claim for Odysseus to say compared to his humble side of him. Again, this is only my opinion rather than an assumption. 


The Odyssey, Major Questions: Odysseus‘s Objectives -Kelvin M.

Throughout The Odyssey, the main protagonist Odysseus has several objectives. The main of course, is to return to his home on Ithaka. This is shown several times, most when on Kalypso’s island as he is describes sitting by the seashore everyday, missing his homeland. His next greatest desire is shown after he returned to Ithaka, as he stayed in cover, enduring his feelings to reunion with his wife and family instead of revealing himself only to kill the suitors. Returning home and killing the suitors would be the two greatest objectives of Odysseus throughout The Odyssey.

However, through the tales he told about himself of his ten years at sea, I also noticed he had some other objectives. Such as on the Kyklop’s island: he could have escaped and be safe at ease after poking out the Kyklop’s eye using his tactics, but instead he revealed his true name to the Kyklops, allowing Poseidon to curse him at sea. I feel this is Odysseus’s nature as a fighter, to claim glory for his own name. It is another little objective of Odysseus.


How Are Relations Between Men and Women In The Odyssey?

In Homer’s The Odyssey, Men and Women are depicted as gods and godesses as well as mortals, such as Helen. Men and Women’s relationship seems similar to our social standard for relationships are today, however things can get quite a lot messier in the Gods’ world. For example, In book 8, Demodocus sings the story of Ares and Aphrodite’s affair:

Now to his harp the blinded minstrel sang of Ares and Aphrodite: how hidden in Hephaistos’ house they played love together, and the gifts of Ares, dishonoring Hephaistos’ bed – and how the word that wounds the heart came to the master from Helios, who had seen the two embrace; and when he learned it, Lord Hephaistos went with baleful calculation to his forge. (133)

In this quotation, you can get a generalized idea of how the connections between men and women in The Odyssey are similar to how the connections between men and women are in the modern world.


The Odyssey Major question- Angelina Blacklaws 5/11/2019

How are relations between men and woman depicted in Homers “The Odyssey”?

In the Odyssey, men are mostly described almost as exclusively as warriors. Warfare in general was a recurring theme in this book. Men are strong and fights battles and work to provide for his family.

Woman play the important part of being a cleaner. They are the chefs of the house and do the cleaning and mostly there for sex after battles. Men had much more control over woman too. For example: A man could marry his young teenage daughter off if he pleases, not who she wants, but whoever he wants. It might seem strange for us now but that was their normal.


What does Odysseus Want? Eloise

In the beginning of the Odyssey, Odysseus had been making his way home from Troy and was stopped by Kalypso.  Odysseus describes his home as the most important place to him saying “I shall not see in earth a place so dear” (pg. 146, Ln. 31) and that’s the only place he wanted to get back to. However, shortly after this while Odysseus is on his way home, he gets curious, saying to his crew mates, “I wish to see the caveman, what he had to offer-” (pg. 151, ln. 249). Odysseus is no longer obsessed about getting home and is more curious about what he can get by befriending the kyklopes.


Question #5

  1. What does Odysseus want? The opening of Book I claims that he wants only to save his shipmates and himself and get home, but you will find that his actions do not always line up with that claim. Keep track: how does “what Odysseus wants” change as he travels from Troy to Ithaca? What causes the change(s)?

He originally wanted to sail back home without distraction, as in Calypso’s island he answered her that he misses home and wants to reunite with his family. Lack of resources made him need assistance from different hosts, such as ships, men, food, wine, and route. Lack of cooperation between him and his shipmates caused delay back home, including when he nearly got home for the first time. Odysseus tries to build a reputation with the gods to ensure his safety and success in his journey, with mixed results. Due to his favoritism with important figures, this leads to disobedience with his men.

His plan changed due to his adventure which keeps him off track of his original plan, his shipmates questioned his motive as they lose faith in his commitment to go home. Odysseus answers that they won’t go straight home yet as he has a desire to complete the rest of his journey.

Throughout his journey, he has faced many obstacles that have tried to delay his journey, the complications of his relations with his men and multiple distractions made him forget to prioritize his original plan.





What Does Odysseus Want?

In The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus wants something. Here are a couple of examples.

My home is on the peaked sea-mark Ithaka……I shall not see on earth a place more dear

This Quotation shows that Odysseus wants to go back to his home in Ithaka. He also says that he has been held captive by Kalypso and that is why he has not been home for so long.

Why not take these cheeses, get them stowed, come back, throw open all the pens, and make a run for it? We’ll drive all the kids and lambs aboard. We say put out again on good salt water!

Ah, how sound that was! Yet I refused. I wished to see the caveman, what he had to offer-no pretty sight it turned out, for my friends.

This quotation occurs when Odysseus and his men are visiting the Kyklops. All of his men want to free the animals, take them onto the boat, and bring them back to Ithaka. Odysseus wants to go see what the Kyklops has to offer. This turns out to be a lot of trouble for Odysseus. Many of the men that he took with him got eaten on this expedition.


“Shooting An Elephant”

Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell describes the experience of a British police officer in Burma who is called upon to shoot an elephant that has killed an Indian man. Orwell at one point held a similar position to the narrator, which has provoked multiple thoughts to whether the essay is fictional or not. To me, I was using it as a source for taking the historical perspective of a British colonial officer in the interwar period.

Orwell’s story proved a valuable source for several reasons. Firstly, it was of the right length (4 pages) and reading level.  Secondly, Shooting an Elephant gave me an insight into a historical perspective on the British Imperial system in India. However, It didn’t give me a full understanding of the death of the British Empire in India, but instead it provided me an interesting way to think about historical perspective taking through literature. It also challenged my inner perception that most of British colonizers were loyal to the cause of the Empire.

In the essay the narrator explains, “in a job like this you see the dirty work of the empire at close quarters.”  This quote gave me a better understand of what Orwell was criticizing about the British Empire and why a upper-class British man like Orwell would write that the British Raj was “dying,” describing it as a “tyranny, something clamped down … upon the will of prostrate peoples.”


Arms and the man

In Arms and the man, Shaw portrays issues of vast significance through humouristic remarks and dialogues. The humour is represented through the characters’ actions. The author embodies the Pettcoks as the image of ignorance and vulgarity, which is seen throughout each of the members of the family. Particularly Shaw characterizes Raina as a young, naive girl who glorified war; the falsy glorification of Sergius personifies this stupidity. Raina is always bragging about the wealth of her family, highlighting that she has stairs and a library. The author uses these remarks to show that they were undeveloped compared to other countries “It is half rich Bulgarian, half cheap Viennese”(Act1).On the other hand, he uses Blunshcli and louka to portray the image of realism within the war. They both disguise the utopian vision. Blunchli is a man who thinks in responding to situations based on the facts; this is explained in the initial dialogue between Raina and Bluntschli.In the exchange, he disguises Raina’s opinions of being brave in war. Overall he goes back and forth comparing Sergius and Blunshli to portray this archaic ideology of war.


Bookshop Memories

Orwell’s “Bookshop Memories” highlights contrasting ideas and people. He shows these comparisons within the first sentence, referring to “the second-hand bookshop…as a kind of paradise.”(41) To a non-book lover, such as the “First edition snobs”(41) and the “vague minded women looking for birthday presents.”(41) He claimed that there was an shocking “rarity of bookish people.”(41) The various people he met and confronted through his job was surprising, especially since most of the people that went there didn’t even buy books; they only put in orders for them to be out on hold. While reading this story, I was drawn into the stories of all the different characters Orwell encounters because it’s relatable to the people we meet in our own lives. The contrast he emphasizes exists from people and places.


Langston Hughes. Abigail

The poem “Theme for English B” despite’s a black young adult who is attempting to find his way in what is true and what is false via his English Assignment. As only one black man in his class. The speaker is not sure whether to take on the persona of a typical English A student regardless of a race, or to stay true to his heritage and culture itself. The structure itself of this whole poem conveys a struggle for identity and truth through his fast paced world around him , the poem begins with a quote explaining my truth behind this. “The only African American man in his class and he resides in Harlem” (Hughes 10-11). Throughout his stanzas the book inlistartes to expressing different traits but similar to his own classmates. ” I like to eat, sleep, drink and be in love./ I like to work, learn, and read and understand change. (Hughes 20-21) by showing us he isn’t different and hopeless as they think he might be. ” I guess i am what I feel and seee and hear Harlem, I hear you (Hughes 17-18) While he holds on to African American culture he also acknowledges that it does not define him as a whole person: I guess being coloured doesn’t make me not like/ the same things other folks like who are other races” (Hughes 25-26) The speaker comes to a conclusion that even though they are not the same race, but all are American and coms to the end of that prom with that message.


Why I Write

Individuals, when they decide what they want to be at the age of 5 or 6, do not pan out for them. But Orwell made it after he contemplated anything he ever wrote. He says, “I seemed to be making this descriptive effort against my will.”(3) This helped me visualize the scenery, and the detailed imagery was astonishing as to how he remembered all of this. He liked to spell ‘he’ as ‘hee’ (3) for pleasure, and as I read, his other essays ‘is’ was spelt as ‘iss.’ People usually want to see happy endings in books, but Orwell was not like that. He wanted to write highly descriptive and arresting similies. (3) I also liked how he explained what the motives of a writer are; some want power. Some want to be remembered. (5) While he said this I wonder when Shakespeare was writing, did he think that the whole world will treasure him and still be talked after 400 years. He despises totalitarianism and it shows up in his works. He writes about the spikes, jails and bookshops and contrasts them with the richer individuals and how they live their life. He gives a simplified story of his life with the most important stories with the greatest attention to detail.


Bookshop Memories

“The Bookshop Memories” written by George Orwell, portray the memories of his day back in the bookshop. The book was pack with his experiences as a part-time employee, he explored a lot about human phycology during his work hours, like “In a lending library you see people’s real taste, not their pretended ones” (p.44). And I bet he writes during his free hours.

I find Orwell describing a lot of his irritating customer behavior, using the humor, sarcasm – and metaphor. Some of them “[They] used to talk in a grandiose manner” (p.42).”, some has ordered a large expensive number of book and never come back. Some people do rent the book and sell it at a higher price. “Book thieves must love those library” (p.43)

He then finds this long hour job and reading book difficult. He can’t stand the cold in winter, a book that gave off nasty dust and this “unhealthy life”. Even though, He later quit his job at the bookshop. But I find the diversity and the variety of people through Orwell’s essay and story. There is varied kind of costumer from different age group like “Fat wives” (p.44), male and female. The diversity of mankind and how each of them behaves, some gave the employee a hard time, and so on. But Orwell finds himself no longer attracted to book, and he can’t be “associated with paranoiac customers” (p.47).


“Shooting an Elephant”

After reading the essay “Shooting an Elephant”, I came up with the word “self-defence”. This essay is about what he got in Burma. There were anti- European thinking between Burmans, especially young people. Therefore, the discrimination in there was one f his big experience. The last sentence of “~ I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool” (40) make me very impressive for the first time to read. In the beginning, he was not trying to kill the elephant with his real personality. Through staying in Moulmein, in Lower Burma and meeting to young men,  He had changed his personality with day by day. “the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves”. He felt uncomfortable and awkward about staying in there. As a human instinct, there is a desire to be recognized by the people around us. That is one of the reasons he shot the elephant even he knew that behaves with self-defence and personal desire. He had no choice to not kill the elephant because all of the people’s behaviour was perplexing and upsetting at that time. Those, perplexing and upsetting things make people’s desires bigger and bigger. To get the truth from those young men, what would he try to do? He might need some risk to get their truth.


“Shooting an Elephant”

After reading the essay “Shooting an Elephant, I feel that George Orwell seeks recognition from the Burmese people, he is the face of the British Government, which oppresses them. He is treated unkindly, and hopes that the people would finally praise him as an officer. When an elephant comes, he made the decision to kill it as he saw a crowd following him, and it would make him finally get the natives’ people approval and cheers that he had been longing to receive. Although his conscience tells him not to do so, he still does, as he doesn’t want the crowd who were anticipating for the elephant to finally get shot disappointed, and abandoned his morals for the sake of approval. I feel very bad for the elephant because it did not deserve to be killed. Although it did cause disaster and kill a man, it is an animal after all, it did it only for self defence. The worst part is Orwell killed it when it was eating grass, as it wasn’t interrupting anyone’s life , and is just minding its own business. Unfortunately, it was shot to death. In my opinion, one should always stand strong on their own thoughts.


“Why I write”

After I read “why I write” by George Orwell, I feel like he has facts to explain, there are opinions to be stated, there are aesthetic impulses to create, and there is more vanity than ordinary people. Orwell is passionate about real and profound literature and is also known for it. Orwell’s style of writing is flatter than that of contemporary British writers, he just said what he tries to tell people, not much decoration to the words. Somehow he is like teaching us how to write by sharing the stories that make him start writing.


Orwell wrote about the misery of the colonies, slums, and battlefields. This is a contrast to the upper class. The idea that vanity drives writing is not true. There is always a need for people to affirm, which the writer doesn’t have in this regard. This conclusion may come from Orwell’s psychological shadow. The childhood experience made him always feel that The future must fail, and why should we take writing seriously?


The author believes that the real fourth reason is actually pain, or the desire to cry. This is why Orwell is keen to use words to appeal to people to pay attention to the truth. When he was young, he always felt the sadness of being deceived and arrogant. The pain of this destiny was accompanied by Orwell’s life, and he became a writer.


His motivation to write is political, “And looking back through my work, I see that it is

invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.” What he is real passion about is political, political gives him ideas, without political he wouldn’t be as successful as he is right now, I think he is trying to tell us that we have to find what we are passionate at if we want to write well.


Major questions #1

1. What is the nature of the Greek gods? What kinds of force or power do they represent? What are their powers? What are their limitations, if any?

The Greek gods often merge with mortals and interfere with their lives, some would help or guide mortals of their liking, some would punish them. Their nature is influenced by human emotions. They are represented by the forces of nature, for example, Poseidon is the god of the sea. Poseidon’s powers are creating natural disasters such as tsunami, earthquakes, and typhoons. Poseidon’s character (bad temper and mood swings) would cost him the opportunity, resulting to be less involved in the community of gods.


Major question 2 – Andrea Ita

The major question I chose was “Why do we suffer? What explanations for human suffering do we find in The Odyssey? Is there one that dominates over the others?”. I personally think that the odyssey has a lot of suffering as one of the main topics because suffering always comes from their bad actions, if you could manage to live without angering the gods, you would be able to avoid suffering entirely because suffering doesn’t really have a purpose, its just something all mortals have to face.

Also, when Zeus frees Odysseus from Calypso in book five, allowing him to make the final stretch of his journey home. Whether or not Zeus was directly or indirectly involved in the suffering of Odysseus, the sky god’s actions played a monumental role in the suffering of Odysseus in the Odyssey.


1. What is the nature of the Greek gods?

In the odyssey, greek gods are mentioned very often and you can see that every god has its own power in a sort of way.

Poseidon for example is the god of the sea, Aphrodite is the goddess of love and she has the skill to control it, she is also very beautiful. They seem like divine creatures but they also have a strong personality and temper.

They have some human characteristics, you can see it as how Athena is always helping odysseus and being in his favour, you can think of that as how she cares for him. They also believe in justice.

Gods play a big role in the lives of humans, odysseus even though he is very brave and good at fighting and surviving he seeks help from the gods. In the story you can see how the gods play a big role in odysseus life, being good and bad things.


Why do we suffer? What explanations for human suffering do we find in The Odyssey? Is there one that dominates over the others?-Isaac Salvadorbrown-October 22 2019

The reason for our suffering is not only brought upon us by ourselves but by chance or by desire of others. In the book “The Odyssey”, our suffering is not only caused by the actions we do but by the choice of the gods as well.

“My word, how the mortals take the gods to task! All their afflictions come from us, we hear. And what of their own failings? Greed and folly double the suffering in the lot of man.” [p. 2]

One of the characters who it reflects on is Odysseus. All throughout the books, Zeus, the most powerful god is personally responsible for lots of Odysseus’ suffering both directly and indirectly. One of the things that Zeus does is that when Odysseus’ crew ate the forbidden cattle, he summons a storm to kill everyone except for Odysseus (and having all your men killed just after you had been at a 10 year war with them would probably be very sad.) This is one of the examples how Zues wanted Odysseus to suffer directly. Another time was when Zeus agreed that Odysseus would be able to journey home, but he said that he would suffer a lot.

“”My child, what odd complaints you let escape you. Hav eyry not, you yourself, arranged this matter – as we all know – so that Odysseus will bring these men to book, on his returns? And are you not the one to give Telemakhos a safe route for sailing? Let his enemies encounter no one and row him home again.”

He turned to his favourite son and said:

“Hermes, you have much practise on our missions, go make it known to the softly-braided nymph that we, whose will is not subject to error, order Odysseus home; let him depart. But let him have no company, gods or men, only a raft that he must lash together, and after twenty days, worn out at sea, he shall make land upon the garden isle, Skheria, of our kinsmen the Phaiakians.”” [p. 82]

Even though they were at a ten year war, I still feel that the greatest suffering was when Odysseus was stuck on Kalypsos’ island, there, Odysseus was kept away from his wife, his son, and his people and was not able to be the king that he was.  Even tho that they gods (in particular Zeus) made Odysseus suffer greatly, they also were very helpful and kind. I think that having the greek gods cause suffering brings their help to the contrast for as they can cause great suffering, they can also cause great aid, support, and love.






Nature of the gods

From the past thirteen chapters of “The Odyssey”, the book has enlightened us with many hints of what the nature of the Greek gods was like. Each god or goddess has its unique powers and their limitations. 


Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom as well as the daughter of Zeus, is the “guardian angel” who looks after Odysseus. she plays an important role in the human psyche, for example being able to reassure Penelope for her son’s safety (BOOK IV). As for her limitations, her biggest weakness falls upon being ruled by reasons, having Odysseus being her favorite and to provide many chances for him to survive is accountable for being unethical. In BOOK XIII describes how Athena was delighted in Odysseus’s cunning though she could not help him much throughout his long travels in order to not incite Poseidon’s anger. This example articulates how Athena acquires great power though cannot disregard Poseidon’s powers. 


Zeus, king of all gods, has numerous power but the most well known to be the ability of throwing thunderbolts. He does not have any specific weaknesses however his mood swings are one of the qualities that cause innocent lives to be dead.


What are Odysseus’ personal qualities or characteristics?

In The Odyssey, by Homer, The main character, Odysseus, is described as strong and he is supposed to be a strong leader. However in book XII, He and his men needed to pass by the Siren’s island. He took the advice from Circe and plugged his men’s ears with beeswax, however because he saved all his men from listening to the seductive siren song, he had to listen to it, which resulted with him having to be tied to the mast of his ship so he couldn’t be lured by them. I think this says a lot about his character because he put others above his own needs. He made the decision that he would save all his men and suffer rather than having all his men suffer but keeping himself sane.


Why Do we suffer? Oct 22

Why do we suffer? In Homer’s “The Odessy” we suffer because of luck. Zeus, has all the power and he decides who is going to have a good day and who is going to have a mad day. It’s not always karma, its just a god deciding what ever he wants. For example, after Helen drugs the wine, she takes part in the conversation again,

… You know how Zeus gives us in turn good and bad luck, being all powerful. [p. 60, l. 255-256]

She is just reminding then it is Zeus who decides their fate even though they already know that because it is part of their life.


The Odyssey, Major Questions: The Character of Odysseus -Kelvin M.

Another major question about The Odyssey is the characteristics of our protagonist: Odysseus. Throughout the entire book, Odysseus has always been portrayed as a cunning and powerful male figure.

His wisdom and strategic nature is often described from the mouth of the others, such as described by the gods:”There is no man half so wise” and by Nestor: “He had no rivals at the tricks of war.” It can also be seen from the nickname of ‘the Strategist’ that is often used to describe him before he speaks.

He is also often described a strong fighter and athlete, right at the very start he is described as “that man skilled in all ways of contending”, and is proved once again on Phaiakia as he throws the discus further than all. It is said that Odysseus himself is the origin of the modern saying of ‘well-rounded man’, for he was the first ever to be pictured as skilled in all fields.


Relationship between the humans and the gods

In “The Odyssey” by Homer, there are various divine gods, all with different attitudes and abilities, with different attitudes toward the mortals who live under them. All the gods have different abilities or have certain control over things, for example Poseidon controls the sea and earthquakes, while Athena is more of a goddess of psyche.

In the book, we can see that certain gods are on the side of Odysseus, for example Athena, who helps him with his quest to return home, as well as helping boost Telemachus’s self-confidence. Poseidon on the other hand, has hatred and no mercy toward Odysseus, as he made his son Cyclops go blind. He makes Odysseus’s trip back to Ithaca more difficult by causing an earthquake and rough seas.



Characterization of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey

Odysseus is characterized a lot by other people in books XI-XIII. One example of this is people saying he is nice and kind.

Odysseus, for your kind heart and counsel, gentil Odysseus. [191, 226]

This is an example of other characters characterizing Odysseus. They always say that he is nice and kind and or gentle.

Another example of the characterization of Odysseus is:

Odysseus, the great tactician. [196.413]

This quotation is of someone describing Odysseus’ skills and attributes during the war in Troy.


Reader’s Response — A Hanging

This short essay eloquently describes “what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man” (25).Peering into the author’s mind as he quantifies the life of “this man [that] was not dying” (25) how “his nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop” (26). This shift in perspective results from the amount of time the author dedicated to humanizing the prisoner irregardless of the crimes he has committed. However, as the story draws to an end it fails to make sense to me. For starters, “a dog” (24), “wild with glee”(24), what does it mean, what does it symbolize, or is it simply a background character in the plot? All these questions set the stage for the most pressing question that this story draws: Where do all the sentiments and pity the narrator feels towards the prisoner go? The death was evidently moving as “everyone had changed colour” (27) and the narrator describes ” an impulse to sing, to break into a run, to snigger”(28) . This marks a surprising shift in tone as the feelings evoke d is quite literally the opposite of the opening parts of the story.



Why do we suffer?

After reading the first few books of The Odyssey, I’ve gathered a general idea about why humans suffer. The most obvious one is Odysseus himself, who was stranded on an island for 10 years after the 10 years long Trosian war, all because of Calypso want Odysseus to be her immortal husband and kept him away from his family back in Ithaka.

But gods’ wishes aren’t the only source of suffering, most of the time our suffering came from our fellow men. Take the Trosian war as an example, none of Odysseus’ suffering would’ve been there if the war never started.


What are Odysseus’s personal qualities or characteristics?

Odysseus has the personality of a leader, in the book its mentioned he is the wisest man that has ever existed. he fought in the trojan war and then he got troubled getting back home, he is a husband and a father.

He is very cunning, strong and courageous, he loves to be a leader and glory, he is favoured by the gods, mostly Athena and loved by humans,


Odyssey Major Questions

As we go along the book of Odyssey, we can mention that greek Gods are playing a huge role in there, as same as greek mythology. To get a clear understanding of actions and some specific scenes, we should investigate the nature of Greek gods by noticing ‘clues ‘ which are given to us in the text. As an example, Athena in book one comes to a mortal person as another mortal because as we know from the mythology, humans can’t see gods in their natural form Athena is a goddess of wisdom and war strategies, and because of this, she is not giving specific directions to Odessey’s son. This example shows the reader Athena’s powers, she is one of the 12th Greek gods and the nature of gods presented in mythology and greek mythology. The discussion about nature of Greece gods is debatable, but most of the sources represent gods as wisdom, non-bounce and sometimes cruel, but they always teach humanity a lesson, as we can see Athena and Odessey’s son.


Odysseus’s character

Odysseus is portrayed as a strong, and very intelligent character in the book. His ability to think quickly in dire situations and his grit is also quite notable. He is a good strategist as well as being a good strategist in war. He is respected by the gods and is well known among the humans. Odysseus’s loyalty is shown when he rejects the beauty and the offer of immortality from the goddess Calypso to be with his wife, who will die and wont be beautiful forever.

We can see his courage to go home as he withstands the harsh conditions put upon him, the harsh sea as well as the massive waves caused by the earthquake god.


Relations Between Male and Female Gods.

In books 1-6, of The Odyssey, male gods sometimes have relationships with their daughters or mortal women. Female gods also sometimes have relationships with mortal men.

But my own heart is broken for Odysseus [1.67]

This is Athena talking about how she likes Odysseus, who is a mortal man. This quotation convinces Zeus (her father) to send Hermes to free Odysseus from Calypsos island.

Another example of a goddess having relations with a mortal man is between Athena and Telemachus (Odysseus’ son).

and in her high room careful Penelope, Ikarios’ daughter, headed the holy song. [1.379-380]

Penelope’s parents are a nymph and Ikarios, a mortal.

Her ladyship Kalypso clung to him in her sea-hallowed caves–a nymph, immortal and most beautiful, who craved him for her own. [1.1]

This quotation is another example of relations between immortals. Kalypso longs for the attention of Zeus.

Athena to make a figure of dream in a womans’ form – Iphthime, great Ikarios’ other daughter, whom Eumelos of Pherai took a s bride. [IV.848-851]

Athena made a mortal Iphthime, so she could be the bride of the mortal Eumelos.


Major questions about The Odyssey

3. How are relations between men and women depicted in The Odyssey? Include male and female gods when you consider this question.

Women are criticized by men with despise. The relations between men and women are toxic and twisted. Women who are powerful and fierce were stripped down by men to degrade them throughout the book. For example, Athena was described as ‘dangerous’ ( B3, p38, stanza 146) her disobedience to men made her poorly portrayed. In the Greek era, it was believed that women should obey men like a puppet, women are the blame to men’s issue, Penelope has been blamed for not choosing a suitor and to lead them on that she will marry one of them.


[Major Questions] 2. What explanations for human suffering do we find in The Odyssey?

          As of BOOK I-VI, “The Odyssey” has been an adventurous journey so far. The scenes of slaughter and obstacles that the gods had decreed for the characters to go through had buried a deceptive moral to the story. In BOOK V, Zeus had created a shipwreck which killed Odysseus’s crew, this led to him being stuck on Calypso’s island for eight mournful years. However, Zeuz decided that it was time for him to return home, but he would be suffering throughout the journey. Odysseus had overcome the impediments he was assigned to, this included a wrecked raft and a swim that risked his life in order to swim to shore and continue his journey. 


         The theme to suffer is one of the main significance in this book, with both the categories of having physical and emotional suffering that have affected each individual character in its own way. Odysseus being the main character has suffered both physically and emotionally throughout. Nevertheless, with the great courage and hope he kept in his heart, Odysseus had battled through each and every stage of suffering in order to reunite with his family. This demonstrates that to succeed, there will be suffering, and to suffer, it will make you stronger. By enduring the pain, lessons would be learned and eventually, you will be rewarded in the end. 



The Nature Of The Gods – Athena

In Homer’s The Odyssey, The story of Odysseus and the Greek gods is told throughout the book. Each of the gods have different tendencies that either support their powers or not. For example, Aphrodite is the goddess of love, which is a lovely power to have, however it causes her to not be very loyal to her husband Hephaistos, as she is also in love with Ares, the god of war.

Throughout the first 5 books, Athena played a large role in Odysseus and Telemachus’ life path by giving them guidance in book 1, when she was disguised as Mentes. She had to disguise herself to talk to Telemachus, a mortal, because mortals don’t comprehend with seeing gods very well. You can think about what her disguise meant in many different ways. Her physical disguise or how she looked, her mental disguise or how she prepared herself to “become” someone else, and lastly, if the disguise was metaphorical somehow. As far as the nature of Athena herself, she is wise and rational, but on the other hand, she’s not usually compassionate. However in the situation with Telemachus, she did show some compassion, most likely due to the fact that he is a young boy, and not to be stereotypical but, women tend to feel more compassion towards children than men do.


Relations between men and women in the Odyssey

In books 1-6 of The Odyssey, male gods have relationships with mortals quite often. Female gods also do, but not as often since they are not supposed to. There are many examples of Gods falling in love with mortals, like Cupid falling in love with Psyche and turning her into a god. An example of this in The Odyssey is Calypso falling in love with Odysseus. Gods also seem to occasionally help heroes with tasks that they are given, by giving them hints to assist them in completing their duty. Athena also convinces her father, Zeus, to send Hermes to free Odysseus from Calypso’s island: But my own heart is broken for Odysseus(1.67). This shows that she felt pity for Odysseus, and possibly even had some romantic feelings towards him.


Major questions the Odyssey-Andrea Ita

The major question about the Odyssey by Fitzgerald that I chose is “What are Odysseus’s personal qualities or characteristics?”. Odysseus character is as a leader, he has lots of strength and courage, he also has a great intellectual, and he seeks to achieve his goal of completing his homecoming.

He is also brave, loyal, smart, arrogant at times, wise, and an epic hero, however, he is also sentimental, when he finally sees Telemachus.


Who Is Odysseus?

In book 1Odysseus is still lost at sea and his son Telamakos  and everyone else thinks he has died at sea when in reality he is just on an island because the winds are against him and have been for 7 years.  Athena is informing Telamakos that his father is still alive and to give him hope she says “He’ll scheme a way to come; he can do anything” (book 1 l. 249). From this statement we can figure out that Odysseus has a wide range of skills and is smart because he can figure out how to get back to every one at home.


The Odyssey, Major Questions: The Nature of the Greek Gods -Kelvin M.

            The Odyssey, up till this point, was a very interesting read. Homer’s portrayals of the majestic gods of Olympos were particularly interesting and caught my attention, also making connection with one of the five major questions: the nature of the gods in The Odyssey.

The gods displayed many properties in the course of the first six books of The Odyssey, but most reflect the greeks themselves. For an example: Athena, in book one, is very worried about Odysseus, and asks Zeus to guide him home, and Poseidon, angry at how Odysseus poked out his strongest Kyklops’ eye, trapping him on the wild seas. This reflects to the mortal humans’ characteristics: believing what one prefers to be justice and right to do. Another example is in book five, Hermes flies over to Kalypso’s island and speaks how Zeus would like her to let Odysseus go. Then Kalypso replies that the male gods, including Zeus himself, often love mortals and sleep with them yet only she is condemned for these actions due to being a goddess. This reflects the patriarchal nature of the ancient Greek culture, and how some actions men are allowed to do yet women not. In the divine gods we see humanity, and in mortals, divinity.


Major questions in the Odyssey-How the relationship between male and female gods are portrayed-Isaac Salvador-Brown-October 11 2019

In the book “The Odyssey”, the male and female characters get portrayed much differently in their roles, abilities and in what is “allowed” for them to do.

“Oh you vile gods, in jealousy supernal! You hate it when we choose to lie with men – immortal flesh by some dear mortal side. So radiant Dawn once took a bed Orion until you easeful gods grew peevish at it, and holy Artemis, Artemis throned in gold, hunted him down in Delos with her arrows. Then Dêmêtêr of the tasseled tresses yielded to Iasion, mingling and making love in a furrow three times plowed; but Zeus found out and killed him with a white hot thunderbolt. so now you grudge me, too, my mortal friend. But it was I who saved him- saw him straddle his own keel board, the one man left afloat when Zeus rent wide his ship with chain lightning and overturned him in the winedark sea. Then all him troops were lost, his good compassions, but wind and current washed him here to me. I fed him, loved him, sang that he should not die nor grow old, ever, in all the days to come. But now there’s no eluding Zeus’s will. If this thing be ordained by him, I say on the vast water. Surely I cannot ‘send’ him. I have no long-oared ships, no company to pull him on the board back of the sea. My counsel he shall have, and nothing hidden, to help him homeward without harm” [p. 84-85]

Athena states how for the gods (males), they can do whatever they please to do with mortal women but when one of the goddesses want a mortal man, it becomes a big deal. It is no big deal for the gods to mix with mortal women, because no one said anything about Zeus’s son, Hercules, who’s mother is mortal. It shows that at the time that the Odyssey was written, it was a very male dominant culture and it shows that even that the goddesses are still gods and are still all powerful, they still do not have the same simple abilities of choice and freedom(about who they can be with).


major question blog- Angelina Blacklaws

The major question I chose was “What is the nature of the Greek gods? What kinds of force or power do they
represent? What are their powers?” What I have noticed from the Greek gods is that gods were an integral part of the stories that the Greeks told each other. The Goddesses liked to flirt with people and take the form of humans. Depending on who they are, they have all different kinds of powers. One change they have in common is that they can change their form.


Welcome to the IB English A Literature class blog!

We will use this space for sharing initial responses, informal writing, etc. You will find that reading each other’s work will be tremendously valuable to you. The blog will also serve as a discussion forum where conversations begun in class can be continued, or new ones started. It may be a bit scary at first, but be brave! Sooner or later you will overcome your apprehensions and appreciate the blog’s value.

You will learn a tremendous amount by reading each other’s work. Sometimes you will think, “Ah, that’s really good, I could do that, too.” At other times you will think, “Ah yes, I make that same mistake, but I usually don’t notice it in my own writing.” Or you may think, “Wow, my writing is better than I thought.” Together, we can learn faster and make more progress.

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