The Odyssey: The Helper Roles In Homer's Odyssey

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In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus is faced with numerous hardships as he voyages back to his homeland from the Trojan War. His challenges begin with the attack of the Ciconian men, the temptation of the Lotus drug, and the carnivorous Cyclops. After Odysseus blinds the Cyclops, Polyphemus, it becomes Poseidon’s mission to ensure Odysseus will never reach his home again. Several women intervene to assist Odysseus along the rest of his journey. The goddess Athena consistently plays the role as Odysseus’ main helper throughout his voyage. Even the minor helper roles are fulfilled by women including Calypso, Circe, and Nausicaa (Homer). Like the women in the Odyssey, women in the United States are also helpers and continue to occupy similar roles …show more content…
Today women move in and out of the workplace to care for children while men’s working conditions typically remain unaffected. If a child develops behavior problems, it is the mother’s parenting skills whose are more likely to be blamed. As a woman, being a family care-taker does not stop with children; but it also plays a role in caring for elderly parents. Daughters and even daughters-in-law are much more likely to care for aging parents than sons. Today, 90% of caregivers providing assistance to parents are either daughters or daughters-in-law (Boyd & …show more content…
Men frequently minimize emotional expressivity and distance themselves when families experience conflict. On the contrary, women use their emotions to maintain family ties during times of stress; they generally do this by confronting issues in order to directly solve them (Brody). In the Odyssey, for example, Athena, disguised as Mentor, intervenes in order to stop the violence between Odysseus and the Ithacans. Athena feels obligated to step in and restore peace, whereas Zeus does not plan to interfere. Without Athena’s intervention, Odysseus and Laertes would have killed every last man (Homer).
There are distinct characteristics that tend to be associated with women, such as being more loving, nurturing, and affectionate in comparison to men (Brody). Differences between men and women often result from social interactions and experiences that occur in one’s life. From the moment they are born, parents treat girls differently than boys in a way that can result in neurological differences (Boyd & Bee). For instance, when comparing newborns of both sexes, it is evident that parents cradle girls more than they do boys

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