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The text emphasizes that the crew's food and drink were consumed "right away," meaning their own resources were exhausted when they sought out the Lotus-Eaters for sustenance. Odysseus sends his men to explore and find new local food. He also makes a point of telling us that the Lotus-Eaters intended no harm. All this considered together, it's interesting that the encounter is presented as almost a crime without a perpetrator. The blame seems to be neither on the visitors nor the natives, but on the fruit itself. I would guess this might imply that the greatest enemy is our own appetites, and that sometimes we cannot control them and must be made to go back by force. One reading of this makes it a poignant and personal study of the power of addiction.



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