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Chapter Outline for Lachlans Book


This follows the general narrative of the return from Troy, with adventures in order, rather than order of books in the Odyssey. I would suggest not attempting to follow every adventure separately, but perhaps combining some similar adventures (eg. appetites which undo his men in Circe have a similar lesson in the Sun Cattle chapter) and skipping some more minor events with no obvious Vietnam parallels, to enhance the power of the larger stories/comparisons.



1. Introduction/Personal Reflection
- Intro of self, position in veteran community, etc
- Why writing the book


2. Coming Home
- Why idea of returning home so important to Vietnam Veterans
- Silencing of Veterans in the 1970s, failure to return home and consequences for physical and mental health
- Welcome Home parades, US and Australian
- Links Vietnam and Iliad/Odyssey narratives thru Shay and Tritle


3. Homecoming in the Odyssey
- significance of it, including length of time
- Odysseus prevented from coming home, partly due to actions of gods, but also because he and his men face a series of distractions that delay their homecoming
- impact of failure to come home on others, eg. Penelope, Telemachus no father and lacks identity, seeking information on his father and the war, etc, Australian children growing up without fathers/lives disrupted by absence of fathers


4. Ismarus/Cicones

- Odysseus and his men distracted from homecoming by sacking of city, taking of treasure, etc
- Veterans prolonging their experience of the War by seeking warlike occupations with helicopters, jobs as mercenaries, etc??


5. Lotus Eaters/substance abuse

- both these two chapters (4 & 5) the stereotypical Vietnam veteran unable to forget the War, still seeking similar adventures, drinking and drugs, etc so these two could be merged
6. The Cyclops

- Cyclops is one-eyed, role of ideology in the 1970s in silencing Veterans?


7. Aeolus and the winds

- Odysseus and his men almost home, but his men release the winds given him by Aeolus, god of winds, due to suspicion and fear he has received greater rewards
- Homecoming delayed by lack of solidarity?


8. Circe and unrestrained appetites


9. The Kingdom of the Dead

- Needing to confront own survival, survivor guilt, honour the dead, etc.


10. The Cattle of the Sun

- could be merged with Circe chapter since similar appetites problem?
- metaphor re: wasting time


11. Scylla and Charybdis

- Which two dangers/extremes do these represent?


12. Calypso

- The final distraction: a false home with a new wife
- Will Odysseus stay in false home or return to true home?
- Odysseus weeping on the island every day depression?


13. Nausicaa

- dont see any obvious links, could skip this one?


14. The Return


15. Conclusions/Reflections

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