Rick Riordan’s Intention in Writing Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and the Reception of the Readers

Mugijatna ,, Sri Kusumo Habsari, Yunita Ariani Putri


This research studies Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. The objectives are to describe the Greek mythology presented in the novel, the intention of Rick Riordan, and the reception of the readers.  The methodology is hermeneutic referring to Recoeur’s theory. It was found that, first, the Greek mythology presented in the novel is blended with American real life; second, the main character is a son of a Greek mythology god and a real American woman and, third, the setting is a blend of places in Greek mythology and real American cities. The intention of Riordan is to open up American culture that is lived through by Americans, that a part of American culture is Greek mythology. The readers accept that the novel fulfils the readers’ horizon of expectation of aesthetic enjoyment and of the incorporation of Greek mythology into real American life.


Riordan; Percy Jackson; Greek mythology; hermeneutic; American life

Full Text:



An Interview with Rick. Retrieved from http://www.

Barker, C. (2005). Cultural studies, theory and practice. London, California, New Delhi: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Barner-Barry, C. (2005). Religions in majoritarian America. England: Palgrave MacMillan.

Barrs, J. (2003). Harry Potter and his critics. Covenant theological seminary. Retrieved from http://

Bright, R. M. and Bright, A. (2013).What teens read: The case for imaginative realism. Alberta Voices, 10 (1), 4-12.

Dragonfly. (2012). Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – review. Retrieved from

Erin, M. (2007). Interview: Rick Riordan. In Miss Erin Interview. Retrieved from

Eye of Providence. (2013, September 26). Wikipedia. Retrieved from _of_Providence/

Harry Potter Criticism. Retrieved from http://danny.

Iser, W. (1996). From the reading process (1974). In P. Rice and P. Waugh (eds.) Modern Literary Theory (pp. 76-82). New York: Arnold.

Jauss, H. R. (1996). From literary history as a challenge to literary theory. In P. Rice and P. Waugh (eds.) Modern Literary Theory (pp. 82-89). New York: Arnold.

Krishna, S. (2013). Book Reviews: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Books 1 & 2 – Rick Riordan. In Krishna’s Books. Retrieved from

MacArthur, J. D. (2013). Great Seal. Retrieved from

Marsden, G. M. (1996). Religion and American cul-ture (transl. Agama dan budaya Amerika by B. Dicky Soetadi). Jakarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan.

McGuigan, J. (1997). Introduction. In J. McGuigan (ed.), Cultural methodologies (pp. 1-11). Lon-don: Sage Publication.

Miles, B. and Huberman, M. A. (1984). Qualitative data analysis. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

Milner. A. (1996). Literature, culture, and society. London and New York: Routledge.

Moore, H. (1992). Paul Ricoeur: Action, Meaning and Text. In C. Tilley (ed.), Reading material culture (pp. 85-120). Oxford UK & Cambridge USA: Blackwell..

O’Callaghan, B. (2002). An illustrated history of USA. England: Longman.

Oldon, M. (2007, June 14) Book Review: The lightning thief by Rick Riordan. In BC, Block Critics. Retrieved from book-review-the-lightning-thief-by//

O’Sullivan, K. (2013). The lightning thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan. Retrieved from. http://katieosullivan.

Patricia, D. L. The lightning thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1). From School Library Journal. Retrieved from com/Lightning-Thief-Percy-Jackson-Olympians/dp/0786838655/

Patton, J. W. (2000). The Real Meaning and Signi-ficance of the Great Seal of the United States. Retrieved from

Powell’s Book (1994-2013). The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One. Retrieved from 1-9780786838653-10/

Ricoeur, P. (1975). Phenomenology and Herme-neutics. Symposium Papers to be Read at the Meeting of the Western Division of the American Philosophical Association in Chicago, Illinois, April 24-26, 1975, 85-102. Retrieved from

Ricoeur, P. (1996). Phenomenology and Theory of Literature: ‘An Interview with Paul Ricoeur’ (1981). In P. Rice and P. Waugh, (eds.), Modern Literary Theory (pp. 89-94). New York: Arnold.

Rick Riordan - 2009 National Book Festival. Library of Congress. Retrieved from 21 January 2013

Riordan, R. (2005). Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. Hyperion Books. Retrieved from http:// ticket/8988/The%20Lightning%Thief%20Hanz.pdf. 12 March 2012.

Robichaud, Y. (2013, August 20). Book Review – The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 1). Retrieved from http://yve-sro¬

Robinson, J. (2009). WBBT: Rick Riordan Interview. In ‘Jen Robinson’s Book Page.’ Retrieved from

Smith, C. (2013). Percy Jackson Book Review – Adventure, Suspense, and Gender Equality. Retrieved from 2011/07/percy-jackson-book-review%E2% 80%94adventure-suspense-and-gender-equality/

Storey, J. (2007). Cultural studies and the study of popular culture: Theories and methods (transl. by Laily Rahmawati Cultural studies dan kajian budaya). Yogyakarta: Jalasutra.

Taylor, S. (2009). The lightning thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) Retrieved from

Thwaites, T., Davis, L., & Mules, M.. (1995). Tools for cultural studies, an introduction. Melbourne: MacMillan Education Australian.

The Calico Critic. (2009, October). Book review: The lightning thief by Rick Riordan Retrieved from

Tsonchev, T. S. (2013). Is America the new Rome? In The Montreal Review. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Washington, DC (2003). The Great Seal of the United States. Retrieved from http://www.

Wulandari, R. (2004). Formula analysis in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The lightning thief: A comparative study. Retrieved from. 39078/2/comparative_literature.fantacy.pdf.


The Journal is published by The Institute of Research & Community Outreach - Petra Christian University. It available online supported by Directorate General of Higher Education - Ministry of National Education - Republic of Indonesia