Monomyths & the Step Not Taken

Topics: Thing, Stan Lee, Coming out Pages: 2 (743 words) Published: February 11, 2013
Monomyths are one of the leading archetypal examples commonly found in literature. It is a quest or a journey braved by a hero that takes them through three stages; separation, initiation and reintegration. One of the clearest examples is the essay, the Step Not Taken by Paul D’Angelo. The narrator represents the hero on a journey to understand the misery of other people he comes across. Through all of this, the hero rebounds with an epiphany that changes his outlook. In the beginning, our hero embarks on his journey with the separation stage. Here he is given a call to adventure; he comes across a young man in an elevator who is first described as a normal, typical junior executive. The hero is not aware of his upcoming adventure until the young man unexpectedly began to sob “Then it happened… I was astonished to see the young man drop his briefcase and burst into tears” Shocked and unsure of how to react, the hero got off the elevator with an emotional combination of confusion and shame. “I stood in the hallway, a bundle of mixed emotions, wondering what to do.” The hero begins to wonder about the possibilities; he wonders what the man was going through to warrant the outburst of tears. His conscious was unsettled and it is because of this that the hero decided to pursue his adventure. In the initiation stage, the hero stews in his thoughts. He is unsettled by the thought of the man going through such turmoil and why he did not say anything to the young man. “…What could possibly have overwhelmed him to such an extent that he was unable to keep from crying out?” The hero expresses a strong desire to know why, and ascends on his journey to discover if his reaction was right or wrong. Upon asking several friends and analyzing the situation that he had witnessed, he was informed that leaving the man alone was the proper response. “The few people I have told about the incident all say I did the proper thing, the best thing, by leaving the young man alone. But...
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