Kristen Joyce
Ms. DelGrego
English D Period
June 5, 2013
Introduction Rough Draft
A person’s decisions and actions can change his/her life dramatically. For instance, in high school there are many temptations that kids will try out. Some of the kids who try them out do not get caught but, others that try them and do get caught, it can destroy their reputation. Someone who is a straight A student also, who is captain of the basketball team decides one night to drink at a party and this party gets busted this person can lose their privilege of being a captain. But also, their reputation as being a good student can be destroyed. One simple, little choice or action can change someone’s life forever. “Think before you act,” and, “think before you speak” are two popular clichés. Many people do not make the right decisions and they wonder why their life has not come out to be what they wanted it to be. These people wish they could go back in time and fix all the errors and poor decisions they made so their life could be better than it is now. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, Odysseus’ men make decisions and actions that do not help themselves later in life to return home to Ithaca, Greece. Some of the decisions and actions the men make are to help Odysseus and the crew get back home but also, some decisions they make make things worse for their journey back home.
Certain decisions that were made during Homer’s, The Odyssey, were to help the crew and Odysseus find their way back home to Ithaca. The crew and Odysseus had been fighting in Troy for ten years. They also have been at sea for another ten years, so in total haven’t been home in twenty years and that must be frustrating. Many of the men are most likely married and have children they have not seen in those twenty years and just want to find their way back to Greece. Some of the actions they make are to help them find their way home whether we understand it or not. “Sirens / weaving a haunting song over the sea / we are to shun, she said and their green shore / all sweet with clover; yet she urged that I / alone should listen to their song. Therefore / you tie me up, tight as a splint, / erect along the mast, lashed to the mast, / and if I shout and beg to be untied, / take more turns of the rope to muffle me” (Homer lines 690-697). Tying Odysseus to the mast and putting beeswax in the men’s ears would prevent them from hearing Odysseus scream and yell to be released. Odysseus had his crew do this in order to not go to the island where the Sirens are; if they had the ship would have been destroyed by the rocks that are there. Thus, Odysseus and his men being stuck on that island for who knows how long. The crew’s actions and decisions help the ship and all the men aboard escape the dangers of the Sirens helping them to return back home. Even though they had made smart decisions they also, acted in a way that was not acceptable to the gods.
Odysseus’ crew did not make decisions to help them get home as well. The men had not eaten in days and were starving. Odysseus’ men had cost themselves the journey back home and even to get back home in the section of The Odyssey, “The Cattle of the Sun God”. These men had screwed up their chances of ever returning home. Odysseus had given them orders to follow which were to NOT eat the cattle of the sun god no matter how hungry they were. “Comrades,’ he said, / You’ve gone through everything; listen to what I say. / All deaths are hateful to us, mortal wrenches, / but famine is the most pitiful, the worst / end that a man can come to. / Will you fight it? / Come, we’ll cut out the noblest of these cattle / for sacrifice to the gods who own the sky; / and once at home, in the old country of Ithaca, / if ever that day comes-“ (Homer lines 863-871). They did not listen to what Odysseus had said to them and eventually did not ever return home. If they had listened to Odysseus in the first place they would have been home in Ithaca with their family who has missed them for twenty years. This certain scenario shows how the crew made poor actions and decisions also, how their lives were changed and impacted dramatically. Having that said, think consciously before acting and deciding what is right or wrong because lives can change with just that one choice.