"The Odyssey" by Homer compared to "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer

Essay by MoSePh8Junior High, 9th gradeA+, April 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Have you ever noticed how people tend to have some very

positive traits, but then they cancel them out with negative traits? This is a typical

aspect of human nature.Human nature is not perfect; it is a very intricate web of

traits, both positive and negative. This aspect of human nature is shown in both

The Odyssey by Homer,with Odysseus, and Into Thin Air, by John Krakauer, with

John. They are both intelligent men, they can make some very poor


Odysseus is very intelligent. He uses his intelligence against

Polyphemus, and escapes from him. Odysseus first uses his

intelligence when he tells the Cyclops that his name is nobody:

" 'Nobody-- that's my name. Nobody-- so my mother and father call

me, and my friends'"(223, lines 410-411).When he gouges the

Cyclops's eye, the Cyclops tries to obtain aid from his friends and

screams out " 'Nobody, friends.

Nobody's killing me now by fraud and

not by force [brains, not braun]!' "(224, lines 453-454). His friends reply, " 'If you're

alone, and nobody is trying to overpower you now-- look, it must be a

plague sent here by mighty Zeus and there's no escape from that.' " (224,lines 455-

459). Odysseus managed to fool all of the Cyclops with his intelligence.

But only a short while after, his tendency to make poor decisions

comes into play.

Odysseus, showing his poor-decision-making trait, escapes the island and

than only a short distance from the shore, he foolishly taunts the Cyclops, and

almosts pays for his poor decision with his life: " ' So, Cyclops, no weak coward

it was whose crew you bent to devour there in your vaulted cave-- you with your

brute force! Your filthy crimes came down upon your own head, you shameless

cannibal, daring...