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Jimmy Chupp

Mrs. Parrott/ Mrs. Mulvey

English 1P , Per. 1

09 June 2017

The Incredible Journey

Lao Tzu once stated,A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. This

quote demonstrates that if you want to achieve something in life, you have to work for it, one

step at a time. Traveling from one place to another, a journey opens people up to new cultures

and experiences. In the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, a greek soldier named Odysseus

faces a 10-year struggle to return home from the Trojan War facing many mystical creatures and

gods. After leaving his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus, many suitors competed for

Penelope but she resisted for as long as she could. Thanks to the help of the Goddess Athena,

Odysseus was disguised as an old beggar to see what was happening with his wife and the

suitors. After winning a bow competition to reveal his identity, Odysseus killed all the suitors,

claimed his family for once and for all, and retook the throne of Ithaca. In the travel writing The

Cruelest Journey by Kira Salak, Salak documented her 600-mile solo kayak journey from the

Malian town of Old Segou to Timbuktu. She was the first person ever to achieve this feat, as she

faced many thunderstorms, torrential rains, harsh winds, dangerous hippos, unrelenting heat, and

minor injuries. The character Odysseus in The Odyssey went from being very impulsive to

having patience. Kira Salak, the character in The Cruelest Journey, went from being prideful to

humble.
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In the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, a character named Odysseus went from

being very impulsive to having patience. After Polyphemus took a stake to his eye, Odysseus and

his crew escaped his cave and boarded their ship. Polyphemus, being furious, heaved a hilltop at

Odysseus ship causing Odysseus to become angry and yell, Cyclops, if ever mortal man

inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your

eye: Laertes son, whose homes on Ithaca! (Homer 416-419). This quote explains that

Odysseus gave all his information to the Cyclops, putting him and his crew in danger. This

demonstrates Odysseus impulsiveness because instead of watching what he said , he let his

anger get to him and told the Cyclops important information that can not only hurt him but his

crew. After Odysseus faced his consequences from being very impulsive, he learned to take

things slow and become patient. As Odysseus was disguised as an old beggar, he was abused and

mocked by the suitors. Keeping his cool to not let his identity out, Odysseus waited until the time

was right to unveil himself. When Odysseus killed Antinous, he new the time was right, so he

stated, You yellow dogs, you thought Id never make it home from the land of Troy. You took

my house to plunder, twisted my maids to serve your beds. You dared bid for my wife while I

was still alive...Your last hour has come. You die in blood (Homer 34-40). This quote clarifies

that Odysseus is not forgiving the suitors for plundering his home, for they shall pay the final

price, death. This evidence displays Odysseus patience because instead of going to his house

and declare he has arrived home, he disguised himself as an old beggar and waited for the right

time to unveil his identity.


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In the travel writing The Cruelest Journey by Kira Salak, Salak went from being very

prideful to humble. When Salaks guide from town, Modibo, tells her that shes crazy and that no

one has ever completed such a trip, especially a woman, she stated, Still, when a person tells me

I cant do something, Ill want to do it all the more (Salak 26-27). In this quote, the author

describes that whenever someone tells her that she cant do something, it just makes her want to

do it even more. An examination of this quote reveals Salaks pride for this journey because shes

not letting anything get in her way from beginning this feat. When Salak finally made it to the

shore of Timbuktu, she says to herself, Grace, because in my life back home every day had

appeared the same as the one before. Nothing seemed to change; nothing took on new variety. It

had felt like a stagnant life (Salak 222-225). In this quote, the author proposes that all because

she completed this feat, it doesnt mean anyone has to treat her differently than anyone else. This

quote models Salaks ability to be humble because all because she is the first person ever to

complete this feat, she doesnt feel that she needs to brag about it, shes just proud of herself for

doing it.

The character Odysseus in The Odyssey went from being very impulsive to having

patience. Kira Salak, the character in The Cruelest Journey, went from being prideful to

humble. My journey throughout freshmen year has brought me ups and downs. From hardships

to success, I have not only learned from my mistakes but how to become the person I am today.

Kira Salak once stated, If a journey doesnt have something to teach you about yourself, then

what kind of journey is it? I personally agree with this quote because journeys have the ability

to change people to who they are today but if it doesnt teach you anything, then maybe you have

to figure out who you are.


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