Divorce and The Odyssey
Every year forty - fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. That means for every two marriages, one ends. There are twenty million couples in America who get divorced. Of those twenty million, there are one million children and adolescences that experience the traumatizing effects of divorce. Like those one million children, in Homer’s epic The Odyssey, Telemachus longs for his father Odysseus that left on a journey to go fight in the Trojan War. Odysseus’s arrival takes longer than usual and the people of Ithaca think that he has died in the war. Telemachus’s mother Penelope also promised Odysseus that she would remarry if he did not return back to Ithaca. So like the other one million children a year that face the traumatic effects of divorce, Telemachus must face his mother marrying another man and his changes in his behavioral and emotional well being due to the denial of his father being dead. Odysseus’s journey back home was much like a divorce because he no longer lived with Penelope and his son and because Penelope was going to remarry. Divorce rates have risen steadily over the years and peaked around the 1920’s, from two divorces per one thousand people to eight divorces per every one thousand people (History of Divorce in America). Marriages that include stepchildren are 70 percent more likely to end in divorce. So if Penelope were to remarry
in modern times, there would be 70 percent more chance that her second marriage would end in divorce because she has Telemachus. Children and the Adolescences tend to have feelings of aggravation and hostility toward their peers, their siblings, and parents (Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce). This relates to book 2 in The Odyssey when Telemachus says, “ You should all be ashamed of yourselves, mortified in the face of neighbors living round about.” In this quote, Telemachus expresses his anger to...