Big Fish and The Odyssey Reaction Paper

     The novel Big Fish by Daniel Wallace contains many connections to mythology. For starters, the way the that heroes are portrayed is very similar. There are also strong parallels in the stories characters, such as the giants. The surreal elements of the stories are also very similar. These stories could have technically taken place however, the mythological portions make it clear that they are made up or fabricated. Overall, Big Fish has many similarities to The Odyssey.

     Big Fish is the story of Edward Bloom’s life told from the perspective of his son, William. Edward is hardly ever home but now he is dying and William wants to get to know his father. All he knows about his father is myths and unbelievable stories Edward told about his travels. These stories would range from teaching a giant to farm, meeting swamp women, being dragged underwater by a huge catfish, and so much more. Throughout the book, the readers get to see Edward's “Death Take” four times. Each one gets more mystical than the previous one. It begins with the father having a normal death in their home; in the finale death, he claims to be a big fish and wants to be in the river.

     Big Fish has many similarities to mythology. Daniel Wallace uses Edward Bloom as the stories hero by writing about all of his adventures and how he did so many incredible things. When Greek mythology was being written and passed down through generations, there were many things that identifies a character as hero. They were usually male, strong, brave, and had many encounters in their lives that made them who they are. These characteristics also relate to Edward. He went on many adventurous journeys and became a hero in all of his encounters. He defeated a giant, bought a town, found important objects, and saved the day on numerous occasions. He braved through storms to get to school an back home again when he forgot his homework. Basically anything he did, he ended up heroic in the end. Another way that Big Fish is similar to mythology is the way the stories themselves are written. For instance, in The Odyssey by Homer, he discusses how Odysseus defeats a cyclops by stabbing it’s eye. In Big Fish, Edward defeats a giant but in a more peaceful way. The way the adventures are told and turn out are similar to the myths. They all seem like they could be real but have surreal elements that change the course story.

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