How the Journey is more Important than the Destination
“The doing is often more important than the outcome,” – Arthur Ashe. Throughout the stories of The Odyssey by Homer, “A Good Soldier” by David Finkel, and the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, we meet Odysseus, Cummings, and Ulysses. Odysseus goes on a 10-year trip back home to Ithaca, Cummings experiences an emotional emergency, and Ulysses escapes prison to get back to his wife. Each of these characters went on a journey to get to their destination; however, it is found that what they go through is much more important than where they want to get to.
First off, there is Odysseus. Odysseus would continuously offend the Gods by showing foolish pride and always being boastful; however, throughout his journey back to his wife and son, he slowly but surely replaced his hubris with being humble. One day when Odysseus beat Cyclops, he proudly shouted that he should say that his “blinder was Odysseus, the conqueror of Troy, the son of Laertes, whose address is in Ithaca!” (110). This shows how Odysseus boasts about injuring the God’s, Poseidon, son with no second thoughts which just proves he is very prideful about what he did. This also shows how haughty he is by thinking he is superior since he injured Cyclops’ eye and presented himself formally by his name, family relation, and his address. Fortunately for Odysseus, he started to learn about humility.
The Goddess Athena helped Odysseus turn into a beggar because it was the only way that Odysseus could regain what he had lost. Odysseus knew that if he lost his temper and immediately presented himself with fury and pride, the mob of suitors would have killed his son and taken control over his kingdom (152). This disguise shows that Odysseus is being humble and realizing that his pride is what caused all the harm and that he needed to change that in order for his family to survive. In addition to that, this shows that he has changed from being a prideful and arrogant man to a humble and wise man because he kept his identity undercover in order for his family and kingdom to stay standing.
Now we have Cummings. In the nonfiction story, “A Good Soldier”, Cummings changed from being hesitant to being helpful and caring. Cummings was not sure on what to do so he kept asking questions like “‘Is your daughter from the United States with you right now?. . . Is she hurt? . . . Which daughter is hurt?” (G.S.). This shows that Cummings is being hesitant because doesn’t know if he should let Izzy bring his daughter to the American hospital. This also shows that he is hesitant because instead of making sure Izzy is quickly coming to the hospital, he keeps questioning Izzy to find out what daughter is injured to see if she can be accepted. Suddenly, Cummings made up his mind and decided that he’ll later * “‘figure that piece out. . . Right now I just want to help the guy’. . . They carried her through the gate without stopping. . . At that moment, anyway, no one seemed concerned one way or another: not the doctors, not the family, and not Cummings,” (G.S.). This shows that cummings became certain on what he wanted to do and that was to help the girl no matter where she was from. This also shows his change from being hesitant because he realized she is just a little girl and that where she is from shouldn’t matter what type of care she should get so he admitted her in the hospital right away without a second thought.
Lastly, there is Ulysses. Ulysses and his two friends, Eldmar and Peter, escaped prison to help Ulysses get back to his wife but had many troubles because of his vainness; eventually, Ulysses noticed his mistake in being conceited and later changed his ways and became more and considerate. In one scene, * Pete was upset that Ulysses was acting like he is the boss and Ulysses responded saying that he is the smart one that should be in charge (O Brother. . . ). This shows that Ulysses is vain because he thinks he’s the best one who has the smarts and is fit for the role of a leader. This also shows that he looks down on them since he thinks they aren’t worthy of handling that role. Later on, * Ulysses found that he has given nothing but trouble to the guys because of his vainness and he even prayed to God to guide him out of his sins and his mess for Eldmar’s, Pete’s, and Tommy’s sake (O Brother. . .). This shows that Ulysses is considerate because he admitted that it was his pridness and vainness that would always get his friends into trouble even when they didn’t deserve it. This shows that he changed because Ulysses wouldn’t care much for the sake of Eldmar and Pete since he would always make them follow and go along with him but now he took notice that he was doing a lot of harm and giving them additional trouble when they had no business in all that which means he is considerate about what he has done to make their future worse.
All in all, all these characters proved that the journey can be more important than the destination. Odysseus learned humility, Cummings became helpful, and Ulysses learned to be compassionate. Next time you ever go on a journey, think about your experience and how you change and don’t focus on your destination.