Paradise and Death Personal Response – Mahad Cheema

Paradise and Death written by Eric Macknight, made me realize how many opportunities Odysseus had to escape from all his troubles. Yet, when Odysseus encounters these problems, he escapes death every time. The contrast between paradise and death differs with the opportunities presented in front of him. Odysseus intends to kill Polyphemus, however, he realizes that it would bring his own death as well, so in order to escape death, he must allow the cyclops to live. This again occurs with the cattle of the sun god, when Odysseus is told that if he kills the cattle of the sun god his crew will surely die. There is the repetition of death and how he has escaped it countless of times. Before reading Paradise and Death by Eric Macknight, never once did I feel like paradise came towards Odysseus, only death. “The pleasures of paradise are fleeting—“a summer joy,” “the flower of life.” Our delight in them depends upon their novelty, their contrast with our usual experiences.” (pg. 16) The analyzation on Odysseus’ speech to Alkínoos at the beginning of Book Nine can be seen as paradise. 

Furthermore, apart from the fact that Paradise and Death, talks about all these important points, the writing itself is eloquent. The simplicity of the sentences and examples used are extremely easy to follow through and it delivers the points across. Additionally, followed through with assertions to support these points, and examples it overall makes everything easier to comprehend. As well, with the proper formatting in this essay, the proper citations for quotes and the organizational structure of the writing makes everything very lucid. Most importantly, writing short concise sentences really makes a difference in writing and how much easier it well be for the reader. My biggest problem in writing is constantly elaborating on things I talk about. All of this results in confusion or complexity in my writing. When reading Paradise and Death, all the points were straightforward, with easy-to-read explanations. Writing unnecessary points, and using redundant phrases is not a persuasive style of writing. Moving forward, using the things learned I will apply it to my writing, and it will benefit me with improvements.