Hero Myth Film Analysis

Topics: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pages: 8 (3513 words) Published: November 12, 2009
Nathan Graham
English W131
Project 1
Linda Seger’s 10-Point “A Hero Myth” Analysis
The idea of heroismhas been traced back to centuries of years throughout history. Greek Mythology is the father of this concept of heroism and this concept has continued to grow and develop through stories, writings, and films over the years. Humans have always been intrigued with the idea of heroism which is why many movies, books, and stories are written after this very idea. In Linda Seger’s “Creating the Myth”, she argues there are 10-points into creating every “hero myth”, using Luke Skywalker in Star Wars as her hero myth example; in the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry follows Seger’s 10-point system of creating a “Hero Myth” very closely. Seger’s first point to creating a hero myth is that the hero should be introduced in “ordinary surrounding, in a mundane world, doing mundane things.” She also goes on to describe the hero starting out as innocent and modest,living a very unexciting life. She uses Luke Skywalker from Star Wars as her example of this point describing him as unhappy with his work on the farm, wanting to go out and have fun and enroll himself in the Academy;which his Uncle does not allow him to do. Harry Potter could not resemble Seger’s first point more accurately when the movie first starts. Both Harry and Luke are alike in that they are living with their aunts and uncles due to the death of their parents, and Harry is defiantly living a tedious and mind-numbing life to say the least. One of the first scenes in the Sorcerer’s Stone is Harry waking up to his bullying cousin jumping up and down on the stairs in order to wake up Harry as well as cover him with dust and dirt. This is able to happen because Harry was made to livein a closet under the stairs. This sceneinstantly lets the viewers see that harry is not living a life of a Hero. The scene continues as Harry is thrown back into his closet by his cousin before being told to cook the breakfast for the family by his Aunt Petunia. This morning happens to be his spoiled cousin’s birthday whichmeans they would be going to the zoo as a family. Before Harry can even get into the car, his Uncle gives him a speech about how he better not screw anything up while they are at the zoo. It is obvious to see at this point that not only is Harry living an extremely mundane life, but he is also being treated very poorly by his God-parentsand cousin. The only difference in Seger’s first point and the beginning of Harry Potter thoughis the first scene of the film. In this scene, Dumbledore, who is the headmaster for Hogwarts Witchcraft and Wizardry, places infant Harry at the doorstep of his Aunt and Uncles house. While talking to Hagrid and Professor McGonagalat the doorstep, the viewers of the movie are already told of the significance that Harry has to the rest of the world in that he is “the boy that lived.” The reason this differs from Seger’s hero myth analysis is because the viewer is already given the clue to Harry being a hero before seeing Harry’sliving arrangements as a normal boring life. Even with that slight difference, Harry Potter already starts out completely in tune with Seger’s 10-point system. It is not until Harry and his family arrive at the zoo that Harry first starts to see signs of him being different or significant. His cousin was being mean to a snake for not moving and Harry apologizes for his cousin to the snake only to find out that the snake can hear Harry speak to him. Then shortly after, his cousin realizes that the snake is moving and runs over shoving Harry on the ground in order to get a closer look. Angry and frustrated with his cousin, Harry accidently makesthe glass disappear, making his cousin fall into the snake pit and the snake escape to freedom, thanking Harry on the way out. It is at this point when Harry starts to have something new enter into his life whichis Seger’s second point. She says...
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