Description of Project: My 9th grade English class read "The Odyssey" by homer and watched "O Brother Where Art Thou". The main characters in the book and the movie are very similar. However, they are also different in many ways. Within this project, we had to compare and contrast the book and the movie. We used quotes from the book and events from the movie. I personally compared the relationship between Odysseus and Penelope from "The Odyssey" and Everett and Penny from "O Brother Where Art Thou".
Many people learn to love the person and the flaws they come with. That tradition follows with The Odyssey and O Brother where art thou. Odysseus is proud yet sometimes over thinks things. Penelope is doubtful of Odysseus’ actions and the things that people tell her about Odysseus. This puts real strains on their relationship. Within the other couple, Everett thinks he is better than others, which sometimes gets him into trouble. His spouse, Penny, is somewhat of a gold digger and a stubborn person. When Everett is with Penny. He feels as if he is walking on eggshells. Both the men in these relationships want their women to fall head over heels over them when they come back from their long journey. While the relationship between Odysseus and Everett, Penelope and Penny are similar in many ways, they are also different due to their personalities.
Both Odysseus and Everett are proud. Sometimes, Odysseus seems to be too proud to the point where it gets his men and himself into danger. For example, when Odysseus finally defeated the Cyclopes, he and his men could have gotten away safely. However, Odysseus’ stupid pride got in the way. He wanted the Cyclops to know who was the person that blinded him and made him suffer. First, Odysseus was smart and told the Cyclopes that it was a person names “Nobody”, because the Cyclopes would look stupid if he said to the gods “Nobody blinded me”. Instead he said, “ Tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye” (Homer, The Odyssey 5.550-551). Because of his decisions, Polyphemus threw rocks at his ship and put his mean under a curse. This is similar to when Everett wanted to get his special hair putty so that he could look better than everyone else. He could have put both of his friends in danger because he would have exposed himself and also his friends. It was good that one of his friends convinced him not to. He would have ruined everything. Within both of these cases, the men showed that they couldn’t be trusted with simple tasks. They are easily tempted. They give into temptation because they are selfish. This puts other people near them in danger.
Not just Odysseus and Everett are alike. Penelope and Penny share some big similarities. When it comes to their men, they have a hard time believing them and the stories people tell about them. Their relationships suffer because they don’t have trust. For example, when Odysseus killed all the suitors and maids, Eurycleia told Penelope to come downstairs because her husband had come home from a very long journey. Penelope didn’t believe her and thought Eurycleia had lost all of her intelligence. Eurycleia says to her “ But I’m not making gun of you, dear child, It’s true, Odysseus has returned” (Homer, The Odyssey 10.32-33). This shows how she is not hopeful and is doubtful. She didn’t have enough hope that he would come back. She doubted it. Similarly, to when Everett was at the country fair and he ran into his wife. She was going to get married to someone else. She didn’t believe that he could change his ways and get out of jail. She wasn’t hopeful Everett tried to tell her that he has changed, but his ways and get out of jail. She wasn’t hopeful. Everett tried to tell her that he has changed, but she didn’t believe him. Penelope and Penny have a hard time being hopeful and just having faith and trust in their husbands. From the time that their men went away from them to the time their men came home, the women’s personalities changed drastically. Their men can’t even recognize them anymore.
Odysseus and Everett have some emotional similarities, however, the ways their lives turned out are completely different. Odysseus comes home to his wife after an extremely long journey. He knows that his wife may not recognize him, so he disguises himself. Then, he fights the suitors for her honor. When he finally tries to tell her that he is Odysseus, he realizes that she has changed. She doesn’t believe him. However, when she finally does, he leaves the next day with Telemachus, “Once he said this, he put his lovely amour around his shoulders, and roused Telemachus, Philoetius, and Eumaeus, and told them all to get weapons in their hands to fight a war” (Homer, The Odyssey 23.465-467). It was not a happy ending. On the other hand, Everett went through everything to try and convince Penny to take him back. She only took him back because he encountered a large fortune after signing with a music label. Everett had what he thinks was a happy ending. Even though the two relationships didn’t have the same ending, they both lasted a long time.
The reason these relationships last different amounts of time was because the women handled them differently. Penny and Penelope should not have changed their personalities so much. They might have had grander outcomes. Odysseus knew the type of person that Penelope was, so he wanted to see if she had changed. He was right because she did change her personality a lot. She did have to adjust to a new life since Odysseus was gone. However, Odysseus lost a lot of faith in her. She didn’t trust so he didn’t think he should either. On the other hand, the person that Penny has become blinds Everett. He is groping to find a way into her life. Everything that he does is wrong. There are a lot of people in the world that wouldn’t like to be treated like that by their spouse. However, he withstood it because he loved her. In many circumstances, that can make a relationship stronger. He just doesn’t know the true person that she has become. All she wants is his money from signing a record label. They did get back together, but Everett had to go through hoops just to get her to give him any credit. The women’s personalities have changes but it’s the men that have to adjust to them.
In the end of The Odyssey and O Brother where art thou, its always the men that have to try to please their women. Odysseus doesn’t have the same connection with Penelope as he did he the past anymore. He didn’t change himself to fit her new self. He stayed true to himself, and that’s just not what the relationship was going to be about. Everett, being gentlemen, changed his emotions to the way that Penny wanted to be. If he hadn’t done that, his family would have suffered drastically. In the end, each couple was like a puzzle. One person made up a few pieces and the other person did the same. Over time they changed the way they looked and fitted. Therefore, when the couple reunited, they either did not fit securely anymore or didn’t fir at all.