Heroes are those people who when faced with danger deals with the adversity through strength and bravery. Odysseus and Oscar Robertson both face tests, alliances and enemies, crossing the threshold, and the rewards. Oscar Robertson is a basketball hero in the NBA back in the civil rights era that led the league in points and assists despite his life being in danger. Odysseus is one of the most ancient heroes in literature fooling monsters and gods with his smarts and pride. Odysseus is one of literature’s oldest heroes, and Oscar Robertson is a hero in the real world that changed the game during the civil rights era. Heroes share the same personality as any other person, but heroes give us ideas to do the things we do as people and inspire us in a certain way to fight for the greater good and achieve our dreams. Odysseus and Oscar Robertson both face test, alliances and enemies. Odysseus faces an enemy and a test when he faced Polyphemus. Odysseus landed on Polyphemus island to offer him a trade for wine. Polyphemus is a cyclops in The Odyssey that lives on the island of Sicily and is the son of Poseidon the greek god of the sea. He was an enemy to Odysseus because he did not like humans and would eat humans if he caught them. Odysseus had an alliance with Athena where she plays Odysseus guide. “The story of Odysseus begins with the goddess Athena’s appealing to Zeus to help Odysseus” (The Odyssey 371). Athena is Odysseus guide throughout the whole story and helps Odysseus when he needs it to get to Ithaka. Oscar Robertson faces an enemy when he received a telegram that said, ” If you play in the Dixie game we will shoot you.” as said by the Ku Klux Klan a racial group in the 18 and 1900s. Robertson also had alliances from Kareem-Abdul Jabbar who guided him to his fame and leadership on the Milwaukee Bucks. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar was a center on the bucks at the time with many records like 6 time NBA champion. He provided Oscar Robertson support and encouraged him to never give up on his dream, but to always keep pressing forward no matter the obstacles that he may face. As these heroes faced test, alliances and enemies, they possessed the traits of courage and bravery throughout their journey in life. Oscar Robertson and Odysseus also both face crossing the threshold. Odysseus crosses the threshold when the gods punish the Greeks for their prideful ways in the Trojan war. Polyphemus prays to Poseidon that Odysseus never return back home. He stated, “O hear me, lord, blue girdler of the islands, if I am thine indeed, and thou art father: grant that Odysseus, raider of cities, never see his home( The Odyssey 384-385).” Poseidon throws Odysseus off course because the gods were angry with the greeks after the Trojan War, and Odysseus tricked Polyphemus by telling him his name was “Nohbdy” as well as stabbed him in the eye. Even though Poseidon threw Odysseus off course, he gained great value from it because it allowed Odysseus to explore different regions, and he still made it home safe to see his wife, son and dog. Oscar Robertson crosses the threshold when he enters the National Basketball Association( NBA ). The rules of the NBA is different than the rules of college basketball and there was great value from his decision to go to the NBA because he had a good career by winning championships and MVP awards. Robertson also crossed the threshold by being one of the first African American players to be in the NBA. In the early 60’s there were only 4 African American players in the league. ” Just how good is Robertson? He is so good he scares me” said Coach Red Auerbach. This quote is telling us the values that Robinson earned from being a good basketball player in the NBA. Oscar Robertson and Odysseus also get the reward they deserve. Odysseus’s reward is winning back his place of power and being able to be with his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus as well as his dog Argos. “Odysseus has at least indeed come home again, and has killed all the suitors who were giving so much trouble to his house…the gods have sent him home to his own good house and country”( The Odyssey 233-237). Oscar Robertson’s reward is making the NBA and winning multiple awards in the 60’s which is especially hard as an African American male, and he also has two NBA championships, was rookie of the year and was also a hall of famer. Robertson also has many more awards he has earned through the years of his career. “Lebron is awesome, MJ was awesome but i think Oscar Robertson would’ve kicked them both in the behind absolutely.” as said by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Do you still not believe heroes are the people that deal with adversity through bravery and strength? Heroes are those that inspire us in life to work towards the greater good. In the end, all heroes get an award from all the hardships and struggles they face. Heroes always meet many different people in the world, not everyone is on their side, but there are some people who support and teach them. Heroes like Odysseus and Robertson also cross the path from their homeland to a place with new rules and unexpected outcomes, and they do that when they cross the threshold to a whole new world or another adventure, but if they cross the path successfully the reward, are worth all of the test, challenges and adversity they may have faced.
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