Rango: A Hero’s Journey
One of the main focuses of the course is recognizing the literary conventions and structures used within literature through the past and present day. Joseph Campbell, an American writer and lecturer, developed a concept to describe the pattern used within narratives. He describes the long process and various steps a man goes through in stories and named it a hero’s journey. Rango presents itself as a modern-day example of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey following each step through the departure, the initiation, and the return.
The first section of the Campbell’s hero’s journey is the departure. This is where the hero figure is first given the notice of the change that will occur in his call to the adventure. Sometimes when the call is given, the hero figure refuses it based various reasons that may occur in his current mindset until a supernatural aid comes along. In the movie, this is when he is thrown off the car into the desert and meets the Armadillo Roadkill. He has not realized his future, but this is the moment where his journey begins. Roadkill is on a journey of enlightenment and tells Rango that he too, should partake on this journey, but Rango believes it is ridiculous and is only worried about finding water. This would be Rango’s refusal of the call. Roadkill informs him about a town named Dirt that holds a water resource a day’s walk away but before he leaves; Roadkill says “we all have our journey’s to make”. This foreshadows the concept of the hero figure’s journey to finding oneself and also puts Roadkill into the position of the supernatural aid. During Rango’s trek to Dirt he runs into a toad that warns him to blend in. In that moment the toad meant blend in so the hawk does not hunt him down, but foreshadows Rango creating his persona to blend in with the town, putting the Toad as a secondary supernatural aid. Once the hero figure completes the first three steps, he then fully crosses into the adventure and into the...
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