Personal Analysis on “the Step Not Taken” by Paul D'Angelo

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An essay that I will be examining through the framework of a monomyth archetype is “The Step Not Taken” by Paul D'Angelo in which he recollects his thoughts and emotions after a Toronto-based event in which he is faced with a young man in an elevator who suddenly and without provocation breaks down in tears, thus putting the author's public persona that he carries for strangers at odds with his inner ego and sense of social self-worth. The questions that the author has explored in the essay were “Why has the man started crying?”, “What should or could have the narrator done to help?” and “What might the man's reaction have been if the narrator have done anything differently?”. In this essay, I will assign the author a role of a classic archetypical hero and explore his inner journey that began due to broken social behavioural norms through the grander prism of a monomyth – first paragraph will shine a light on author's separation from the ordinary, the sudden actions of a stranger that have unwittingly propelled the hero to partake an deep inner journey and re-examine his inner values. In the second paragraph I will examine author's inner struggle that is present throughout the entire essay and lastly, Next, I will overview author's return and self-balancing reintegration during which he has time to reflect and ponder what could have gone differently in the aforementioned encounter. The closing paragraph will deal with more personal aspects of the essay and examine author's thoughts and epiphany when viewed through a humane and empathetical social position rather than a tale of an archetypical grandiose hero on a spiritual and emotional journey.

The initial story begins with a quite an ordinary event that is common to all city-dwellers – an elevator ride with a stranger. The author at first assumes a role of a neutral observer in ordinary realm, perhaps maybe with a gist of Sherlock Holmes-like ability to notice finer details on strangers. After a description...
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