The Honest Telemachus
Telemachus is an honest person, he wants not to deceive another, therefore his response was made with true honesty. He is an honest person. It's an honorable trait, honesty, and it's cool that at Telemachus' young age, he knows that it's right to be honorable and not lead another person on. On page 84, it says that, "...young Telemachus cautiously replied..." The use of the word 'cautious' proves that Telemachus is trying his best to not be deceitful and to give to Athena the most honest answer that was to his knowledge. He is showing himself to say all things to his best knowledge.
Throughout the beginning of the book, Telemachus was told by many that he was and is the son of Odysseus. Penelope, Athena, Telemachus' nurse, those of their kingdom, and also many others referred to Telemachus as the son of Odysseus.
However, no matter how many people tell him that, he can't be a hundred percent sure about his father. And that is totally understandable.
On page 84 Telemachus tells Athena "...Mother has always told me I'm his son, it's true..." However this is the only time included in the book that refers to Penelope actually telling Telemachus that he is the son of the great Odysseus.
Throughout the story the suitors treat Telemachus as though he is the son of their king. On page 90, Antinous tells Telemachus, "I pray that Zeus will never make you king of Ithica, though your father's crown is no doubt yours by birth." So the people of Ithica know or believe that Odysseus is the father of Telemachus. They prove this by taking it to the extreme, telling Telemachus that they hope he is denied the crown. Telemachus is also told that he is...