The Monomyth and the Cosmogonic Cycle: Origins of Narrative

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1748
  • Published : November 11, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
At the turn of the 20th century, monomyth, by definition, is the outline that associates a story to a human experience. The term was originally created by the author James Joyce, in his novel, Finnegan’s Wake, And then and too the trivials! And their bivouac!

And his monomyth! Ah ho! Say no more about it! I’m sorry!
I saw. I’m sorry! I’m sorry to say I saw! (Joyce 575)
Few decades later, Joseph Campbell, a grad student at the time, writes a book on the Monomyth, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

In his first work that utilizes the monomyth, Joseph Campbell draws “how these repetitive universal myths are evident in our stories, in our lives and in our souls.” (“Monomyth.org”) In this novel, Campbell presents the notion of “A Hero’s Journey,” or the concept that every story has the same basic structure and plot line which makes use of interchangeable units. Also, according to Literary Theory: An Introduction, a book written by Eagleton, “As long as the structure of relations between the units is preserved, it does not matter which items [one] select[s].” (Eagleton 83)

An example of a renowned fiction that follows the Cosmogonic Cycle is Star Wars. The story begins when the hero is called to adventure: R2D2’s holograph of Princess Leia: classic princess in distress. Among the three general division of the Cosmogonic Cycle, this is where the “separation” begins. The second stage is the “refusal of call”; Uncle Owen tells Luke of his other important duties. However, when Luke finds his family house burned, the “answering call” stage is initiated. Soon, Luke meets the “guide/talisman” figure, Obi Wan Kenobi, an old family friend who offers help. Luke also meets “companions” such as R2D2 and 3CPO, his servants that are ironically related to other figures he encounters in the story. The last stage of the separation, “entering the belly of the whale,” is when the crew is trapped in the Death Star because of the tractor beam. (Sparks)

The second stage of the...
tracking img