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Going Home - The Long Journey of Odysseus

             It can be responsible for destroying individuals, families and civilizations. "The Odyssey," by Homer, follows the journey of Odysseus after a ten year war campaign in Troy. Transitioning from the battlefield to civilian life can be difficult for a soldier, laden with anxiety and the struggle of adjusting to "normal" life.
             Odysseus' journey home from Troy took years and in order to survive the hardships he encountered along the way, he subconsciously went through several psychological shifts; changing his perception of himself, the things around him, and the way he made decisions. Odysseus had to tear out the brutal splinter of being a soldier and focus on returning to his position as king, able to restore order to his house. .
             Upon reaching Ithaca - his homeland - Odysseus hardly recognized his surroundings. Homer states, "The landscape then looked strange, unearthly strange to the Lord Odysseus.He stood up, rubbed his eyes, gazed at his homeland, and swore.'What am I in for now? Whose country have I come to this time? Rough savages and outlaws, are they, or god-fearing people, friendly to castaways? Where shall I take these things? Where take myself, with no guide, no directions?".
             On the surface, it may seem as if Odysseus is merely confused about his surroundings, but Homer reveals that Odysseus is more than confused. He's developed a sense of doubt about everything, including himself. So war-torn is Odysseus, that he can't remember Ithaca - what it looked like or the feelings of home it had given in the past. He could hardly remember his life before the battles at Troy. .
             After years of war, Odysseus' every thought was on battle strategies, his enemies and leading his men to victory. In fact, he was so consumed with war that he gradually began to lose touch with all memories of life in Ithaca. The goddess Circe addresses this problem in book XXII, when Odysseus has to pass the sea monster Skylla.

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