Family as a Social Institution in Odyssey by Homer

Topics: Odyssey, Trojan War, Odysseus Pages: 3 (988 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Family as a social institution in Odyssey by Homer

One of the social institutions that play a very important role in the Odyssey by homer is the family. The importance of the family and home are highly extrapolated in this work of art, the main character, Odysseus really demonstrates the role of home and the family. Even before the reader goes deep into the text, there are certain facts that are established about the family and its role in this book. Although most critics and readers focus on the exploits made by Odysseus, the book deeply focuses on the role of the family. The main character’s aim in this book is to return home. This is overwhelmingly evident in the story through the fact that he is ready to make several sacrifices in order to return home. Throughout the book, he is given countless opportunities to settle anywhere else apart from home, but he refuses. He resists all the temptations to go back to Penelope. The main theme in this epic novel is reunification of the family. This is illustrated by the attempts of the protagonist to return home and reunite with his wife and son. The entire novel highlights various examples of families. There are good families that prosper. There are bad ones that fail. As Odysseus struggles to return home and Telemakhos struggles to be a man, the book stresses on the concept of a healthy family (De Jong 119). In the long run, at the resolution of the conflict in the novel Odysseus is reunited with his family. Therefore, a united family can overcome all the challenges and obstacles that comes it way. At the beginning of this work of art, the family as a social institution is in shambles. No one knows about the whereabouts of the protagonist. Penelope has spent many years keeping suitors at bay as she cries for Odysseus. Telemakhos, his son, has grown without a fatherly figure which makes him confused and unsure of whom he is. The long period of absence of Odysseus makes his family unstable. His son Telemachos...
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