The Odyssey and The Pearl: Loyalty


Loyalty to another person or to a cause may be an admirable trait, but it
can lead to either positive or negative consequences. In Homer\'s epic The
Odyssey and John Steinbeck\'s novel The Pearl there are characters that show
great examples of this trait. Penelope in The Odyssey and Juana in The Pearl
are the most obvious, although there are many. Penelope stayed loyal to
Odysseus while he was on his twenty-year journey and Juana stayed by her husband
through his time of distress.
Penelope stayed loyal to Odysseus while he was on his twenty-year journey.
To ward off suitors that were beckoning for her hand, she made them a promise
that as soon as she finished weaving a gift for her father, she would take one
of their hands in marriage. Nightly, unbeknownst to the suitors, she would
unravel her work, so that she could remain faithful to Odysseus. Also, Penelope
promised her hand to the suitor who could meet a test. Penelope\'s test was to
string Odysseus\' bow and then shoot an arrow through the eye of twelve ax
handles. Penelope knew that only Odysseus could accomplish this task. By doing
this, she avoided having to marry one of the suitors. Staying loyal to Odysseus
brought about positive consequences to Penelope. She was reunited with her
beloved husband Odysseus.
Kino\'s wife Juana stayed by her husband through his time of distress.
Although it was her belief that the pearl was an omen of evil, she loyally
stayed at her husband\'s side. Juana remained loyal to Kino even after he had
savagely beaten her. She knew that she had brought it upon herself and it was
her place to accept the beating. Also, Juana vowed not to leave her husband\'s
side when he decided to flee from the town after murdering one of the
townspeople. She made the treacherous journey with her husband across a desert
trying to outrun the men that pursued them. Negative consequences were the
outcome of Juana\'s loyalty to Kino. Her loyalty caused her to lose all that was
common and dear to her, including her only child.
Loyalty to another person or to a cause may be an admirable trait, but it
can lead to either positive or negative consequences. Penelope stayed loyal to
Odysseus while he was on his twenty-year journey and Juana stayed by her husband
through his time of distress. Penelope refused to remarry while Odysseus was on
his long absence, and Juana never left Kino\'s side. Loyalty is a trait found in
most humans, and if used in moderation can have very positive consequences.

Category: English