The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

“The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store”: American Progress
“The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store”: American Progress
Abby Edwards, Scoop Writer • May 3, 2024

In “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store” by James McBride, It is no secret that Chicken Hill is a place of struggle, and in 1930, Jews and African Americans had to depend...


Why Greek Mythology is Still Relevant

Take a moment to ponder everything you know about Greek mythology. Maybe you can recall a couple of the Greek gods, such as Zeus, Artemis or Aphrodite, or perhaps you can recite the entirety of Homer’s “Odyssey”, from swirling Charybdis to lonesome Penelope. Either way, it is made evident by the popularity of the “Percy Jackson” series and the mandated education of Greek tragedies in the classroom that Greek mythology is cherished in our society. But why is that, and are the tales of heroes, gods and monsters still relevant today?

From my point of view, Greek mythology is absolutely still important today because of its parallels to the human experience and its constant underlying moral allegory. 

To begin, Greek myths remain true and entertaining today because they contain all extremes of the human condition, including heart-wrenching betrayal, inexplicable catastrophes, drastic reversals of fortune and unrequited love. While the tales are often on the darker side, revolving around themes of death and despair, they also champion resilience, comradery and devotion. For example, in the midst of the fantasy of the Trojan War, while plague and death ravaged the army, heroes and kings faced continuous treachery together, and the famous Achilles lended a gracious hand to his enemy, King Priam. Lovers, soldiers, siblings and parents alike sacrificed for one another in the name of love, and showed devotion to the gods and priests as a form of respect. These small moments of humanity have formed a lasting message that preserves kindness, loyalty and duty, even in the darkest of times.

Additionally, Greek mythology is relevant because it divulges lessons in morality through an avenue that is relatable and utterly human. For instance, circling back to Homer’s “The Odyssey”, this tale warns against irresponsible and unchecked leadership, such as that exhibited by Odysseus himself, and encourages the reader to choose their leaders and role models carefully. On another note, “The Odyssey” prompts readers to enjoy the journey that is life, learning to stop and smell the roses or pursue adventure instead of intently awaiting the future or their “final destination.” Similarly, myths such as Narcissus falling in love with his own reflection ironically warn against narcissism and encourage finding value and fulfillment within oneself instead of through appearances or superficial attributes. 

All in all, Greek mythology’s ties to the human experience and its moral lessons make these tales still beneficial and entertaining for use today. However, it is important to acknowledge that many myths are not timeless due to their stereotypical or outdated societal rules regarding class or gender. Rather, the myths are timely, highlighting the downfalls of the past to ensure that humanity does not repeat those same mistakes in the future. 

Thankfully, Greek mythology is now being adapted by authors such as Madeline Miller and Pat Barker, to reveal perspectives from all kinds of people, not just the kings, heroes and gods that the original tales usually follow. If you want to learn more about this, read my article, “Greek Mythology Books You NEED to Read!”

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About the Contributor
Erika Hartman
Erika Hartman, In-Depth Writer
My name is Erika Hartman, and I am a junior writing for In-depth. I am in several clubs at GBS including Student Council and Earth Action Network. I play basketball and tennis and love to read and bake in my spare time!

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