Thalmanns model: The journey begins and ends in a city: in the
first, Odysseus conquers, while in the second, he supplicates.
Each of Odysseus
trials is a variation on the theme of hospitality and feasting. He is offered hospitality,
but only if he stays and does not travel on to his final destination; he is threatened
with the perverse feasts of monsters; and his crew violates the divine sacrifices and
guest-gifts of the gods.
The journey to the underworld stands at the center of Odysseus wanderings,
because here he confronts the extremes of death and exile. And only here does he learn,
ironically, of home.
As a result, Odysseus' wanderings move in chiastic pattern where each element mirrors
previous ones; thus, Odysseus thematically repeats his journey in reverse after he visits