Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kelly Kraft
Understanding Literature
Blog 11.12
For the event analysis this week I attended an adaptation directed by Mary Zimmerman of The Odyssey by Homer. After seeing The Odyssey adaptation, I read “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernaveca”; a short story by Rudoflo Anaya and “Serving up Hope”, an article in the Baltimore Sun. Both these articles reminded me of the adaptation I had seen; both shared components of The Odyssey. Rudoflo Anaya’s “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernaveca” shared the same kind of feeling The Odysseus had for adventure. The article in the Baltimore Sun “Serving up Hope” has the collective feeling of what it is like to have a kinship with your homeland, like Odysseus had with Ithaca. Both readings go through their own epic tales, with their own elements of The Odyssey; one with adventure and one with the appreciation of home.
The Odyssey itself is an epic poem about a man Odysseus trying to make it home after the Trojan War. (The account of the Trojan War can be found in the other epic poem by Homer; The Iliad.) Odysseus has a lot of set backs, many due to his disfavor with the God Poseidon. He encounters many different creatures in The Odyssey. Some of these creatures include a Cyclopes and a Sorceress. Odysseus is able to defeat this creature with the help of the God Athena. Finally, he makes it home back to Ithaca. After yet another trial with suitors who are taking claim over his land and his wife Penelope, he lives happily ever after in the land he loves.
Rudoflo Anaya’s “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernaveca” was about adventure as well. In the short story, the narrator is listening to who the reader is left to supposed is B. Traven and he says “A writer has to follow a story if it leads him to hell itself. That’s our curse. Ay, and each one of us knows our own private hell.” (65) Here B. Traven comments on the narrator’s adventure. He is not doing them for gold like the others would be, he his doing them to find his story. It is as though the narrator could be talking to Odysseus and not to the character of B. Traven. Odysseus also knows what it is to have adventure through the world and why a person does it. The Odyssey influenced this story and all adventures.
The Baltimore Sun’s article “Serving up Hope” does not talk about adventure far away from home, but is about making a difference where you are from. The Sampson’s have changed lives for many people by doing something that is natural to them. For them it was not until they came back from their adventures in life like Mr. Sampson’s work at a 5 star restaurant, that they realized what was home. Home to the Sampsons was opening up the Dogwood (a quite delicious deli) and helping those in need. Like Odysseus the Sampsons had to do other things before they could find their home. They had to go through trials and tribulations. Everyone has an Odyssey in there life; everyone must have a rocky adventure to find their way home.
An adaptation directed by Mary Zimmerman of The Odyssey by Homer, Rudoflo Anaya’s “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernaveca”, and the Baltimore Sun “Serving up Hope” ,all have adventures in them that leads characters to find their homes. Without adventures the characters would not be able to find their place in the world.

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