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Odyssey Compare/Contrast Essay

When Everett sees his daughters again for the first time since he’s escaped, they recognized him and their dad at first, but then remembered that their mom told them that he had been hit by a train and died. After hearing that, Everett goes to find Penny to which he discovers that not only has she changed the girls’ last names to her maiden name, Wharvey, but Penny got engaged while he was gone and is in line to get married the next day to her modern-day suitor, William T. Walldrip. Penelope did the complete opposite. Many suitors came to “woo” her after believing that Odysseus had died.

She put them off with a trick, telling them that she would marry one of them once she finished the funeral shroud for Odysseus’ father, which she wove by day and secretly unravelled by night. She managed to deceive them for three years by doing this. After the three years, she was caught and the suitors demanded a decision. She cleverly came up with another scheme, an archery contest; a challenge that is nearly impossible for all but Odysseus. She did whatever she could to hold them off because she had hope that Odysseus would come home. On the other hand, these women have very different stories with many similarities.

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They were both confident in their decisions throughout the entire story. After Everett goes to jail, Penny is seeking out a new husband with better qualities than he has, one whom she says has to be “bona-fide” and can provide for her and the girls. Penny knows what she thinks is best, so she finds herself a “suitor”, Walldrip, that meets her standards. Penelope is left with a baby boy while her husband, Odysseus, is trying to find his way back home for 20 years after the Trojan war, and on top of that, her house is invaded by at least 100 suitors that are all trying to convince her to marry one of them.

Penelope sees the suitors as nothing more than a bunch of greedy pigs and wants them out. These ladies know what they want and will do strive to accomplish it. They’re both fit for their husbands in their own ways. Odysseus and Penelope are both cunning, clever, and always thinking of a plan. Everett and Penny, though not sharing the same characteristics as Odysseus and Penelope, are quick-tongued, know-it-alls, and think in a selfish manner. The story of the loom symbolizes the queen’s, Penelope’s, clever and cunning tactics. The contest of the bow and axes is another example of her craftiness.

In O Brother, Where Art Thou, Penny is known for saying: “I’ve spoken my piece and counted to three. ” every time something doesn’t go her way, and if it doesn’t get fixed, she walks away; an example of her “know-it-all” attitude. Everett is always telling Delmar and Pete things like, “You two are just dumber than a bag of hammers! ” They, Everett and Penny, are both always looking out for themselves. Everett tricked the boys into breaking out of jail, which lengthened their sentences, just because he heard that Penny was getting remarried.

Penny found herself a new man, “a suitor” who met her standards and could help support her family. Finally, both Penelope and Penny put their husbands to the test before trusting them. Penelope tells the maids to move the marriage bed and once Odysseus sees this he quickly fills with anger because that bed was made special, made from a firmly planted tree trunk. She automatically knows it’s Odysseus. Penny had forgotten about Everett as if he had really been hit by a train and died. Once Everett proves that he’s just as “bona-fide”, she plans to marry him as soon as he finds her original wedding band.

They both take their husbands back, but there was a catch in order for them to trust the men. These stories are completely different, yet alike in some situations. They were both single mothers while their husbands were gone. Penelope was loyal to Odysseus, but Penny couldn’t care less about Everett. They were both fit for their husbands in different ways, and were the reason their husbands wanted to come home. Overall, these women were both self-confident and strong-willed throughout either story, whether they were wives from the late 1930’s or Ancient Greece

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