It is truly astonishing how much in common an epic written hundreds of years ago has with a Hollywood motion picture produced in the year 2000. Their plots contain direct parallels in regard to events, characters and reoccurring themes. When analyzed carefully, The Odyssey by Homer and the movie Oh Brother, Where art thou contains many similarities.
The main similarity between these two works is that the main characters both embark on a journey to return home to their families. Believing that he would only be gone for a short time, Odysseus first left his wife and son to fight in the Trojan War. Twenty years later, he is trying to return home to them. Similarly, Everett is trying to return home to his wife who divorced him and his seven daughters. Throughout the story, these protagonists both stumble into obstacles that hinder their journeys and delay their travels. I've tried to get home before but had trouble because obstacles delayed my travel home.
I tried to get home from school but I had to go to cross country practice and then I was stopped by cop. It took me a while but I finally reached my destination, home.
These two men are also similar in the aspect that they both turn to faith when faced with opposition. Whenever Odysseus is in trouble he asks for the Gods help. For example, when Odysseus needed help with the war against the suitors he asked for help from Zeus. Zeus responded by sending thunder as a sign that he would help. Everett never believed in a God because he thought that it was superstitious. However, the instant that he fell into harms way he prayed to God. He confessed to God that he had turned his back on him but pleaded for forgiveness. Suddenly, a gigantic wave appears and washes the enemy away and saves Everett from being killed. Whenever I am in trouble and in need, I always pray to God. Sometimes he does not answer right away like he does for Odysseus and Everett but I can feel him comforting me.
Another distinct similarity is that both protagonists encounter a character along their journey that informs them about their futures. In the book, Odysseus meets Teiresias when he travels to the land of the dead. Teiresias tells him that his travels are going to be difficult but fear not the obstacles in your path because you will make it home. In the movie, Everett, Pete, and Demer met a man by the railroad that told them what was going to occur in the future. He told them that they will seek a fortune, but the fortune will not be what they thought. He warned them that get to the fortune they would have to travel a long and difficult road.
Both the book and the movie deals with Sirens, which are women who sing beautifully and enchant you with their music. In the book, whenever they would listen to the sirens, sharp rocks would sink their ship. In the movie, the women hypnotized the men and made them drink. When Everett and Delmer woke up, they realized that Pete was missing. Everett and Delmer thought that the mysterious women turned Pete into a toad but Pete just went for a swim. I know how they feel because when I am listening to a good calming, relaxing song, I feel like I want to doze off and take a nap.
The similarities between these two works are sustained in the contrast of the main antagonists. Dan T. Goodman and the Cyclops share common characteristics and both commit heinous crimes towards others. Both antagonists are characterized as being unusually cruel and both have a relentless desire to torment and harass others. In addition, the protagonists of our stories suffer the loss of one of their dear friends due to the brutality of both Goodman and the Cyclops. Goodman killed the toad when they thought it was Pete. You always here about bullies on Television or in books but they can happen in real life. There is this one giant of a guy in one of my classes who tours over everyone else. I always see him picking on a few guys so that he can get a few scraps of candy off of them. He could force pain upon them but so far he has not had that chance because the people are usually reluctant to give up their objects.
In the book, King Alkinous is the last person Odysseus sees before returning home. The king grants him a safe travel home and gives him gifts. In the movie, the mayor, Papy O'Daniel, pardons Everett, Delmer, and Pete giving them a safe way home. Then the mayor gives them all jobs which is like a gift. Yet another similarity between these works is that both protagonists are rewarded accordingly upon their completion of their quests. In the epic, King Alkinous is the last person Odysseus sees before returning home. The king grants him a safe voyage home and showers him with gifts. In the movie, the mayor, Papy O'Daniel, pardons Everett, Delmer, and Pete. Thus, he essentially gives them a secure passage home. Furthermore, the mayor finds jobs for the three men, which resembles a gift because they would have not been able to acquire finances in any other way.
Another trait that Odysseus and Everett have in common is that they can both talk their way out of a situation. For example, when Circe surrendered and Odysseus became her lover in return that she promised that she would release his men and treat them well. Everett persuaded the man at the radio station that he had more men than he really did so that he could get extra money. People talk their way out of things all the time, especially when they are about to get into trouble. If I did something wrong that I was not supposed to do then I just say that it was not my fault because peer pressure made me do it.
One difference from the book and the movie is that the wives are extremely different. Odysseus' wife stays faithful and waits for him throughout the whole book. Even though she has many men who want her hand in marriage she resists saying that she is going to wait for her husband. Everett's wife on the other hand, is not as faithful. In fact, she told their children that their father was hit by a train. Everett's wife got a divorce and found another man who had a job and money.
The similarities shared by The Odyssey by Homer and the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou are apparent and comprehensible when looked at from an analytical perspective. These are two very different works to the naked eye, however, if analyzed and compared meticulously it would be difficult not to believe that these works directly parallel each other. Written in completely different time periods, it is amazing to believe that story lines and themes have stayed so constant.