The movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? is based on The Odyssey by Homer. The epic poem is a story of a journey home just as the movie is and both contain several stories evolving from the trips themselves. There are several aspects of the movie that are borrowed from Homer's classic tale. The first is the blind guy on the railway when the men escaped from prison. This man is a reference to Tiresias the blind seer. The others are the washer women who seduce Pete, The bible salesman(John Goodman), the baptism at the river, and the policemen with the sunglasses. The song that the Soggy Bottom Boys sing that states "a man of constant sorrow" relates to them and Odysseus. Odysseus and Everett's revelation to their wives in the end, the two men floating on a piece of wood, and the two political leaders running for governor are all references from the poem that were in the movie.
The blind guy on the railway was referring to Tiresias. The blind man told Everett that he would not find the treasure he seeked. There was no way he could have found the treasure he told the members of his chain gang (Pete and Delmar) he was going for because it did not exist. He told the others that there was a hidden treasure that he seeked and they were daming a river. The treasure would be covered by this river if they didn't get there in time. In the end of the movie, the treasure he seeked was his wife's wedding ring and he had to get there before the river flooded the area. He got the ring but since it was not the right one, he still did not get the treasure he after all. Both Odysseus and Everett floated on a piece of wood that saved their life. Odysseus after a storm and Everett after the flooding occurred.
Another reference was the washer women that seduced Pete. These three women represented the Sirens from Homer's tale. In the poem, the Sirens singing would lure men to there death. In the movie, the washer women lured Pete to his assumed death.