Theme of Percy Jackson: the Representation of Greek Mythology

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This essay will examine Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan and how the book represents Greek mythology. This book is laden with mythology, as the whole premise of the book is that demigods exist in the normal world, blending into everyday society. These books were written for the young adult audience and were created with the intent to show young people that being different is okay. The book also uses the mythology within it to commentate on American society by injecting these mythical peoples into our world today and pointing out its tendencies.

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Integration of Greek Mythology

The main characters in this book are Percy Jackson, the demigod son of Poseidon, Annabeth Chase, a demigod daughter of Athena, and Grover Underwood, a satyr. Each is based on a Greek myth: Percy, inspired by Perseus, Annabeth by Athena, and Grover, embody a mythical creature of ancient Greece. These characters are placed in modern America and sent on a journey across the country. They come across corruption in many places during their journey; one of the most apparent moments is when they travel to Vegas and are faced with foes lifted from Greek mythology, Lotus Eaters. Each bit of this book is viewed through a very American lens, with major landmarks showing up in significant ways throughout the whole book. In Vegas, the Lotus Eaters’ lair shows the corruption of big corporate businesses that care not for people’s individual well-being. Another common thread is that all of the main characters share a “tragic” backstory of never knowing one of their parents, but if we look at Greek history, this was much more common. Children, boys specifically, were often separated from their families to train with the military or sent away for schooling. It was not uncommon for children with deformities to be abandoned by families either. It is a very modern American ideal that families should stay whole and care for each other no matter what.

Some other Greek myths we see in Percy Jackson and the Olympians are Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. The interaction between these three is very articulate for leaders in America today. The Gods all fight amongst themselves, almost beginning a “war of the Gods,” each trying to win for themselves the title of God of Gods. While this happens, they pay no mind to how their actions affect anyone around them, their children in particular. The threat of the War of Gods is what really begins their journey in the first place. It is very similar to the torn government we see in the US today.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a very good piece of cultural Greek myth representation. It shows how integrated Greek myth is into American culture and tells the stories of Greek gods and goddesses and other myths in a way that is easier for people in America to retain and understand.


  1. “Percy Jackson & The Olympians” series by Rick Riordan

  2. “The Heroes of Olympus” series by Rick Riordan

  3. “The Trials of Apollo” series by Rick Riordan

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Theme of Percy Jackson: The Representation of Greek Mythology. (2023, Sep 06). Retrieved from