Outline (Thesis #6)

Vivien, EJ, Quinn, Connor

Although named for Odysseus, The Odyssey opens by focusing on his son, Telemakhos, revealing the emotional effects of his father’s absenteeism, effects common to both Ancient Greek and current society.

Similar to many children in today’s society who don’t know who their true father is, Telemakhos wonders about the man he could have called “father.”
a. “My mother says I am his son; I know not surely. Who has known his own engendering? I wish at least I had some happy man as father, growing old in his own house – but unknown death and silence are the fate of him that, since you ask, they call my father” (BOOK I 258-264).
b. Children today with single/separated families.

Telemakhos is beginning to feel the effects of the lack of a strong paternal figure in his life.
a. “They would have made a tomb for him, the Akhaians, and I should have all honor as his son. Instead, the whirlwinds got him, and no glory. He’s gone, no sign, no word of him; and I inherit trouble and tears – and not for him alone, the gods have laid such other burdens on me” (BOOK I 284-289).
b. “My distinguished father is lost, who ruled among you once, mild as a father, and there is now a greater evil still; my home and all I have are being ruined” (BOOK II 49-52).
c. Children grow up hearing about absent mother/father, but never know them and feel effects later.

After years without a father, Telemakhos acquires courage from an outside source to seek out Odysseus and gain the connection they lost when he set sail for Troy.
a. “With this, Athena left him as a bird rustles upward, up and gone. But as she went, she put new spirit in him, a new dream of his father, clearer now, so that he marveled to himself, divining that a god had been his guest” (BOOK I 368-374).
b. Children want to know the truth about themselves, and family.

Telemakhos and father’s absenteeism
Past/present/future is common to absenteeism in today’s society

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