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As Benjamin Disraeli once said, “Through perseverance, many people win success out of what seemed to be destined certain failure.” (Disraeli) The Odyssey, by Homer, “The Journey,” by Mary Oliver, and The Cruelest Journey, by Kira Salak, are all works with complex characters that all undergo a particular quest, and face numerous conflicts and adversities along the way. The Odysseytells the tale of Odysseusas he undergoes a long and harrowing journey back to his homeland of Ithaca. In “The Journey,” the speaker is aiming to break away from living for others, and journeys to find her confidence and her voice. The Cruelest Journey details the true story of Kira Salak’s physical and mental journey as she embarks on a 600 mile journey from …show more content…
He “...drove…” his “...big hand spike deep in the embers, charring it again, and cheered…” his “...men along with battle talk to keep their courage up...” (Homer 380) Odysseus was challenged in facing the Cyclops, and had to persevere through the torture of being trapped in a cave with a savage monster, as well as having to witness his men literally being torn apart and eaten alive. He also had to persevere through the agony of having to strategically think and come up with a plan in this extremely chaotic environment, as well as physically facing the Cyclops. The author uses this conflict to emphasize the vitality of perseverance in Odysseus’s quest. In order to escape the Cyclops, he had to really think and persevere through a number of terrifyingly stressful situations. Yet another obstacle in Odysseus’ path that he had to persevere through was the Sirens, creatures with voices so enticing, it would be impossible for anyone to restrain themselves from following them solely with their own willpower. However, their voices masked their true nature, as they ate any men who followed their voice and came near them. Odysseus had to travel and lead his men through the Sirens, and he had to …show more content…
However, after she had taken on the quest, she has an epiphany, and realizes that perseverance is key to finding success. In addition to conflict, metaphor is used to emphasize the speaker’s epiphany. Throughout the poem, the speaker speaks in the “voice” of the reader, and begins the poem by boldly stating that “...one day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting…” (Oliver 1-4) The speaker wants to reach the mental destination of confidence and independence from others. She initially embarks on the quest to reach this mental place, however, she gathers other lessons upon taking on her quest. Throughout her journey, the speaker faces a number of situations where she is held back by others. She is weighed down by their begging to her for her time, and her assistance. For the longest time, she has been restrained by the “...old tug at…” her “...ankles,” and she’s been used to hearing voices constantly saying ‘Mend my life!’” (Oliver 6-11) The speaker has been unable to live and speak for herself because of all of the people around her trying to get involved in her life. This external conflict she faces with those around her proves her need to reach her

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