Odyssey vs. O Brother Where Art Thou
Everett tries to escape Parchman Farm after learning that his wife was in two days ready to remarry a suitor of the name Vernon T. Waldrip. He is able to trick the two other men in his “Chain Gang” into thinking that the gang is actually going after treasure in order to get them to go with him, showing much love and loyalty to his wife and family. The authorities began on a Louisiana wide man hunt for Everett as the gang continued on their eventful trip home.
Similar to Everett McGill, Odysseus from the Odyssey had been wandering the sea for ten years to get home to his family. Although he was making his way home, his absence allowed suitors to pursue his wife with proposals while staying in his home and enjoying his finer things; eating his food and drinking his expensive wines. Odysseus laid siege of the suitors on his land.
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In this comparison, the situations that both Everett and Odysseus found themselves in are extremely similar to one another.
They both had to make a long journey in order to re-unite back home with their families and claim their original lives. Another obvious similarity is their names. The name Ulysses is actually the Latin form of the Greek name Odysseus. Even though the two characters are clearly from two different eras, their names show strong connection. Both characters are seen as adventurous men trying to re-unite with their families and homes. They both take on a similar role of traveling with friends that they do not absolutely trust.
For example in the Odyssey, the bag of wind given to Odysseus from Aeolus was kept from Odysseus’ crew until they went behind his back and opened it up themselves. In O Brother, Where Art Thou, Everett doesn’t trust his gang about being baptized for the reasoning of being purified and to feel better about yourself. Both these characters are seen with great determination and even though they are faced with numerous obstacles, they never gave up hope of their dream of being back home with their loved ones.