The Odyssey is an epic poem, which revolves around Odysseus and his journey home from the war at Troy. Throughout his travels he is met with many obstacles and adventures. There are times when he thinks he will never make it home. But through perseverance, faith, maturation and heroics, he manages to survive and reach his homeland of Ithaca as a changed man.

In The Odyssey, Odysseus, the main character must journey from Troy to his homeland of Ithaca. Throughout this journey he learns many lessons, faces obstacles testing his physical and mental strength and grows from an arrogant, self-centered hero into a humble, respectful survivor. With the help of the Gods he is finally able to return to Ithaca as an honorable man.

In Book VI of the Odyssey, Odysseus wakes on the shore of Phaecia. The Goddess Athena has sent the beautiful Nausicaa a dream instructing her to wash clothes in preparation for an upcoming marriage. Athena makes Nausicaa brave and Odysseus handsome bringing them together in order to assist Odysseus to the house of the king. In this particular book the Gods assist Odysseus and he manages to come closer to getting home. Athena helps him out over and over again in Book VI. Everything seems to be done to help Odysseus and so he is lucky to have the Gods behind him. "but the grey-eyed Goddess Athena made her tarry, so Odysseus might behold her beauty and win her guidance to the town" (175). Here Odysseus is actually being led where he needs to go by Athena indirectly. All the places with lush greenery and the resting-place of Odysseus has even been made by Athena. "The sun was going down when they went by Athenaís grove" (181). The manipulation by the Gods appears to lead t a common goal, the survival of Odysseus and the assistance of getting him home. The gods may not be able to stop fate but they help Odysseus learn to use their guidance to his advantage for his survival.

In Book VIII, King Alkinoos calls an assembly asking the Phaeacians to help Odysseus. During this meeting there is competition to entertain Odysseus. After being insulted by one of the Phaeacians, ""The reason being, as I see it, friend, you never learned a sport, and have no skill in any of the contests of fighting men" (185). With that, Odysseus throws a discus farther than anyone ever has. "Anyone else for an edge for competition try me now" (186) This proves Odysseus has a problem with his pride. Although this pride does help him throughout his journey, he uses it here as a vice to show others his greatness. His arrogance really shows through here. By insulting his abilities, Phaeacians insulted his manhood and he defended it to the highest degree.

In Book IX, Odysseus encounters the Kyklops and uses his cunningness and bravery to escape. Here we see a new side of Odysseus. First he vividly narrates his love for his home in this book. "I shall not see on earth a place more dear" (198). "Where shall a man find sweetness to surpass his own home and his parents (198)? Odysseus seems able to survive by using all his energy to find his way home. He uses this energy in his plot to get away from the Kyklops. His plan is both brave and ingenious. He tells the Kyklops his name is Nohbdy. Then after being blinded, Odysseus and his men are able to escape. The Kyklops yells to his friends, "Nohbdy, Nohbdy tricked me, Nohbdyís ruined me" (207)! With this, he gets no help and Odysseus is free. However again his pride gets the best of him for as they are escaping he yells, "If ever a mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell them Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye" (210). This again proves to hurt Odysseus and makes his journey more difficult. His foolishness proves to be a thorn in his side throughout The Odyssey. By revealing his name he sets himself up for the angry God Poseidon.

In Book X, foolishness again causes Odysseus trouble. As his Odyssey seems almost over and the men are close to Ithaca, a sack of wind given to Odysseus