Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1) Fall of Giants discussion

Luke Sippel

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Luke Sippel Luke Sippel
Mr. Kawel
English 7th
Fall of Giants

The Fall of Giants, written by Ken Follet, is a novel about the struggles of life, the tragedy of war, and the perseverance it takes to fight for a cause. It takes place from 1911 to 1923 and pushes the reader to embark on a journey through World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the long road to achieving British women's suffrage. While there are eight different main characters, Billy Williams’s arc is built upon the Hero’s Journey archetype as seen in classic texts like Homer’s The Odyssey. Just as Odysseus experiences Departure, Quest, and Return, so too does Williams.

The Fall of Giants, like The Odyssey, clearly represents the Departure phase in the hero’s journey. In chapter two of the Fall of Giants, Billy and his friend volunteer to go to war two years after it started. After two years of the war with row after row with his father after Billy stopped going to church, Billy figures he has nothing else to lose.(p237) Much like in The Odyssey, Odysseus and his fellow kings eventually go to war with Troy, after being reluctant at first. Billy’s refusal to risk his life at the beginning of the war and the fact the Billy stops going to church leads to a bad atmosphere in the house and essentially lead him to a mentor figure - his dad. His dad was a backward mentor and Billy defied everything his dad said to do and went to war with the Aberowen Pals anyway.(p287) Therefore his dad pushed him from the Departure into the second phase, the Quest.

The Quest in The Fall of Giants for Billy closely follows the path Odysseus follows in The Odyssey. In chapters, three to five of The Fall of Giants, Billy, and the Aberowen Pals spend most of there time on the front line and have a lot of trials and errors moving forward to take German territory. (p300-600) Just like Odysseus in The Odyssey had trials and errors trying to get back home to his wife, Penelope. (9.1-125)Toward the middle of The Fall of Giants, Billy starts to look like Odysseus more and more. In London, he meets a girl named Mildred, Ethel’s best friend, and falls in love, and eventually gets sucked back to war. (p376) After one more year on the front line, the war is over but Billy’s journey is far from over. A revolution is going on in Russia and Britain decides to send its troops to Moscow to stop it, which finally leads us to the Return phase.

The Return phase in The Fall of Giants followed the hero’s journey tightly, just like The Odyssey. Billy was caught by his commanding officer Fitz for sending letters to his sister about what was going on in Russia and was convicted of treason. Just as Odysseus got stuck on Ogygia, Calypso’s Island, for seven years. (9.1-125) Although unlike Odysseus, Billy’s journey ended a bit earlier. Ethel, his sister, wrote an article called Hands Off Russia about the information Billy was sending her that got him in trouble in the first place. Then, she wrote another article about how he didn’t deserve to be in jail, which got him out of jail.(p924)

Therefore, Ken Follet’s novel, The Fall of Giants, just like Homer’s novel The Odyssey, is closely built upon the frame of the hero’s journey. Just as Odysseus experiences a Departure, Quest, and Return, Billy encounters the same three stages of the Hero’s Journey. Billy’s call to get away from the atmosphere at home, the road of trials, and eventual return are similar to the same structure as a 3000-year-old text, The Odyssey. It’s spectacular that after 3000 years building off of the same structure of the hero’s journey The Fall of Giants can still keep us on the edge of our seats.Fall of GiantsFall of Giants

Veronica Myers Nicely done for the good old 7th grade! Great comparisons, compelling compound sentences. Don't be afraid to use other punctuation to continue a sentence, such as : or -. It creates the same sort of pause, but can sometimes craft a more unique effect on the sentence.

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