2001: A Metaphorical Odyssey

Essay by Ernest De LeonHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 1997

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2001: A Metaphorical Odyssey

Myths are created for the purpose of conveying a message with an interesting medium with which to do so. Many cultures use myths to teach their young about the past. Through time, however, these myths become impractical due to discovery. This is when a new myth must be introduced to take the place of the obsolete one. Stanley Kubrick shaped 2001: A Space Odyssey as a new myth to crack the archaic view of space, by using a hero, a dilemma, and a new revelation to fuel his cause.

Every myth has a character that breaks the mold of the ordinary. In Homer's The Odyssey, Odysseus is the character that broke the mold of the other mortals. He displayed character traits that superseded those of his crew mates. Much in the same fashion, Bowman breaks the mold of the astronauts aboard the Discovery. He and Poole are share duties aboard the Discovery, but he demonstrates a higher level of thinking by sensing and interpreting what is happening before him.

He is the one that realizes exactly what HAL is doing, and he puts a stop to it. He sees problems, analyzes them, and then proceeds to diffuse the cause in the most efficient manner possible. He uses his character traits of intelligence, persistence, and adroitness to overcome the dilemmas put in front of him. By using his intelligence, he realizes that HAL has figured him out, and he must find a way to get back into the discovery in order to survive. In using persistence, Bowman does not give up when it seems that HAL has won the battle. Instead he takes the rough way in, and he then disables HAL. Bowman shows how adroit he is with dilemmas by handling the entire HAL situation with...