Monomyth, “the Step Not Taken" by Paul D’angelo

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Many literatures follow a Monomyth, which is a hero’s journey. The story, “The Step Not Taken" by Paul D’Angelo is an example. The narrator is seen as a hero involved in a personal quest on how to react to other's suffering. The hero of the story goes through three sequential stages. These stages are called separation, struggle or initiation, and return or reintegration with gift or power. This essay will detail the three stages of the monomyth.

The story first begins with the separation stage. At this stage, the hero encounters many short events in which he partakes. He is called to adventure when he met a young junior executive in the elevator. At this point the hero did not suspect that his life about to take a different turn which emphasize the fact that there was nothing at all to indicate what was about to take place. Consequently, it was the hero’s decision to accept or refuse the call. The young man burst into tears, but the hero decided not to do anything to aid the man’s suffering. The protagonist has refused his quest and it ultimately made him feel uneasy with shame and guilt. Once the hero accepts the quest, another protagonist would appear and give him guide. The unknown protagonist came from his own self conscious. He began to wonder if he should check up on the young man to make sure he’s okay. He ask questions such as, “is he mentally disturbed, a manic depressive, or is he a suicide just waiting to happen?” His caring for the young man and mixed thoughts induced his commitment to the adventure leading him to exit the social realm entering the unknown or uncomfortable zone. The hero states, “I should have reached out a hand…because I want him to know that I’m pulling for him”. The final separation stage completes when he fully accepts his quest. He wants the man to know that, “…I am thinking of him, that I was wrong, dreadfully wrong, not to step forward in his time of need”. Thus, the hero moves to the struggle or initiation stage.

The...
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