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The Underworld
Let's start with the facts. The Underworld is a vast world underground ruled by Hades, where the dead go to, well, hang out for eternity. The Underworld entrance is located in LosAngeles (West Hollywood), and it is divided into three fields: the Elysian Fields (prime real estate), the Asphodel Fields (neither good, nor bad; just so-so), and the Fields of Punishment (torturecentral). Percy describes the Underworld as being like one giant concert with no light and no beach ball floating around – just spirits milling about for miles on end. The dead are kind of transparent whenyou look at them directly, and they aren't very cheery. There's a stalactite ceiling far above.

To get to the fields, Percy and his friends have to bribe Charon to ferry them across the RiverStyx:

We were standing in a wooden barge. Charon was poling us across a dark, oily river, swirling with bones, dead fish, and other, stranger things—plastic dolls, crushed carnations, soggy diplomasand guilt edges. (18.84)

Charon explains that the river is "polluted" with human "hopes, dreams, wishes that never come true" (18.84).

The shoreline of the Underworld features a black sand beachand a huge wall stretching as far as the eye can see in either direction. Percy tells us, "the entrance to the Underworld looked like a cross between airport security and the Jersey Turnpike" (18.97).There are metal detectors, security cameras, and tollbooths everywhere. The dead have two options: the "ATTENDENT ON DUTY" line and the "EZ DEATH" line. For those who'd like a chance to make it toElysium (prime real estate), they need to pass through the long ATTENDENT ON DUTY line, so that they can be evaluated by three judges (judges are spirits like Shakespeare, King Minos, and ThomasJefferson). For those who wouldn't like to be judged (for fear of being sent to the Fields of Punishment for bad deeds they might have done), they can simply take the EZ DEATH line and spend eternity in...
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