In the odyssey by Homer the hero Odysseus leaves his home to battle in a war at Troy. It takes him 10 years to get back as he undergoes various battles internally and externally in his fight to eventually get his long awaited return. In the movie O Brother Where Art Thou the three main characters/hero’s Everett McGill, Pete Hogwallop, and Delmar O’Donnell escape from a place where they seem to be trapped with many other people in their battle to return home.
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Both the movie and the book share many similarities and differences. A couple of the differences include the settings, and the number of the main characters/heroes. A couple of similarities between the two include the pursuit of material reward, and many adventures.
One of the differences Between the story and the movie is setting. The odyssey happens hundreds of years ago, when the movie takes place recently in the 1930’s. The difference in time brings up different morals, values, and ethics. Odysseus had honor and people thought very highly of him. In Odysseus’s time dying in war was a respected death. In the movie the main characters seemed to have no honor due to the fact that they were in trouble with the law. When they eventually make it home they seemed like they were well off in life yet none of them had gone to war. Their was also a difference in morals, ethics, and values with McGill’s wife and penelope. McGill’s wife got engaged to another man, while Penelope didn’t remarry after 10 years because she never knew if Odysseus was dead. Penelope also had many suitors asking for her hand in marriage. When Odysseus gets back he is happy to see that Penelope has stayed faithful he then he decides kills all of the suitors. When McGill returns home and sees that his wife is engaged to another man, he then punches his wife’s fiancé and gives her wedding band back(taking her hand back in marriage).
In the Odyssey, there is one main character being Odysseus. In the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou McGill, Hogwallop and O’Donnell are each a main character. The characters in the book and movie are built with different backbones. Odysseus had a very well rounded and built up life, on top of being well respected with a high social status. He was rich in his time owning servants/workers, and many animals. In the movie the characters were criminals owning an average amount of things for their time, with almost no one knowing them giving them a little to no social status. This is one of the bigger differences between the book and movie because Odysseus was known for his good deeds and the trio were known for their misdeeds.
There are many similarities between the book and the movie, including the plot, journey’s, and themes. In both stories the hero/characters share the strong want to return home. In the beginning Odysseus and the trio are healed captive. Towards the end of the movie and book all of the characters/hero’s end up floating on water in tough conditions. Odysseus was floating on strong water because he had angered poseidon. One of the things that poseidon did to help stop odysseus from getting home was tearing his raft up to pieces, this forced Odysseus to try to swim to shore. The trio were floating on strong water that was being used to create a dam.
There are many other similarities between the book and the movie. One of them being the fact that the main characters had their future foretold. Theoclymenus had told Odysseus future and the blind clairvoyant for the trio. Another similarity is when Odysseus and his men had to escape from the cyclops Polyphemus, the trio had to escape from Big Dan Teague. One of the biggest similarity is all four men had to battle the sirens or resist them.
In the end there are many similarities and differences between Homer’s book and O Brother Where Art Thou. After reading and watching both the book and the movie I now see similarities with other text as well. To conclude I look forward to seeing new similarities and finding other books that are similar to what other movies.
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