So The Odyssey is a poem about a cultural transition and we also know that the notions of heroism will be involved. These somewhat abstract ideas can be traced in the story by following a few themes. Here are a handful that are commonly identified and will guide our conversation: justice (and appetite); what constitutes the good life (and family), identity (and memory). Of course you can find many other threads to follow as your interest dictates.
Justice: Hospitality, hospitality, hospitality. There are more descriptions of eating in the Odyssey than any other activity. A good meal is clearly part of the good life in peacetimes and it's part of xenia. What is right, what is hospitable, and appetite (the decorous versus the gluttonous) are linked in the poem.
Good life: The Iliad is a poem about war time and the concerns of war heros, namely honor, victory, and death. The Odyssey is about coming home from the wars, making the transition to peacetime and rebuilding what war has broken. (Odysseus's family, for example).
Identity: Identity is related to memory, to what we remember and how others remember us. Memory takes form in the stories that we tell about ourselves and that are told about us. Note the stories that are told. They’re conveying information, foreshadowing future events, and making this important point.
With this in mind, let's set sail with Telemachus in Book 2.
(The photo is of the Lion Gate, the main entrance of the Bronze Age city of Mycenae in southern Greece. 13th century BC).