“Home” is a simple word, but it has an immense meaning for me since I am an international student who lives distantly from the motherland. I know the feeling of being far away from home, and after reading The Odyssey by Homer and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by Rowling, I had a thought. For me, it could be said that a home is a safe place and haven, and people want to go back to this place anytime, disregarding the obstacles. This place always has someone waiting for you. It is the concept of home in my mind. The chosen books express these ideas but use different ways, as Harry Potter presents struggles and sadness of living without a home while The Odyssey shows home as a place to be. For this paper, I will write why I think of home as a safe, happy, and stable place. I will use the examples from the readings to prove that.
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To start with, The Odyssey is a great example of the concept of home, and it shows that home is a place where beloved ones are waiting for you. According to the plot, Odysseus is a leader in the army, and he is recognized for winning the Trojan War. Apart from his merits, his life was full of obstacles. One of them was the fact that Poseidon hated Odysseus and tried to stop him from returning home. These statements describe in detail the attitude of Poseidon: “then every god look pity, all except Poseidon.
He raged on, seething against the great Odysseus till he reached his native land” (Homer 3). After that, Odysseus and his teammates encountered a shipwreck and were annihilated, and the accident was carefully planned by Poseidon (Homer 388). It was unknown whether he was alive or dead for ten years, but his wife was desperately waiting for him while building an association with the home as a place where the loved ones did not lose hope and continued waiting, disregarding negative thoughts. It could be said that this image of home supports my idea, as it is the place everyone wants to return to and live in love and prosperity.
Thus, the life of Odysseus was very complicated during these years. He met the goddess named Calypso, who fell in love with Odysseus and attracted him by her exceptional beauty. So, the hero was trapped by Calypso on the island for over seven years. She tried to keep him with her, but “his heart set on his wife and his return” (Homer 3). His love and desire to return home were very strong, and he was ready to give up everything, such as his life and beautiful goddess.
According to the book, “Athena sweeping down from the sky in a woman’s build and covering his head, the goddess spoke: ‘Why still awake? The unluckiest man alive! Here is your house, your wife at home, your son, as fine a boy as one could hope to have’” (Homer 336). These thoughts of Odysseus and true love for his wife stated that Odysseus and Calypso would have no future, and Zeus told Calypso to let him go. The hero made a decision to leave Calypso apart from her beauty, power, and infinite life. He chose his real home and wife, even though she was not as beautiful as Calypso. This act can be discovered as a symbol of true love that is one of the most important features of the home.
Thus, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone focuses on the challenges of being without family’s love and support and safe place to live. Harry Potter is a little boy, who has to live with the Dursley family on Privat Drive (Rowling 1). He is often called “the boy who lived” because he was the only one, who survived the attack of the dark lord, Voldemort (Rowling 1).
Apart from being close relatives, Dursleys did not treat Harry well. For example, Harry had to live in “a dark cupboard”, and his round glasses “held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose” (Rowling 14). Dudley’s birthday also showed the attitude towards Harry and implied that Dudley was the loved one in the family (Rowling 14). On the contrary to the home of Odysseus, nobody was waiting for Harry at home on Privat Drive, and his living in his aunt’s and uncle’s house could be discovered as opposite to my understanding of home.
However, Harry did not continue living on Privat Drive since he received an invitation to start his studies at Hogwarts. Hogwarts is a school of witchcraft and wizardry, where all magicians are invited to master their skills (Rowling 39). He met new friends there, and they were Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (Rowling 84). They always wanted to help Harry, even though, they had different backgrounds and characters. Ron was always cheerful, and Hermione was smart and wanted to correct everyone.
For example, once, when Ron said a spell wrong, she started desperately correcting him (Rowling 136). Hagrid also became one of Harry’s friends, and Potter was always eager to have “tea with Hagrid to look forward to” (Rowling 108). They, other members of Gryffindor faculty, and Albus Dumbledore became Harry’s support and family, as they always wanted to help him feel like home and surrounded him with love and care. It was entirely opposite to his life on Privat Drive with Dursleys and had a lot in common with home described in The Odyssey. Eventually, it could be said that Harry discovered Hogwarts as his new home. He is loved there, and there is always somebody waiting for him in the magical walls of the castle.
In conclusion, according to the books The Odyssey by Homer and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by Rowling, it is possible to understand the idea of the concept of home. For example, The Odyssey shows that home is a place where a loved one is waiting for you, and you are ready to sacrifice your life to return to this comfortable, safe, happy, and stable place. In turn, when living with Dursleys, Harry Potter did not feel safe or loved because he was not treated well and had to live in a cupboard. However, Albus Dumbledore and Hagrid changed his life, and he started his studies at Hogwarts. This school of witchcraft and wizardry became his new home, where he had somebody always waiting for him and felt safe. In the end, it could be said that both of these books show that home is a haven and safe place to return to.
Homer. The Odyssey. Loki’s Publishing, 2014.
Rowling, Joanne. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Bloomsbury, 2013.