"The Hero's Journey" aka Monomyth

Topics: Joseph Campbell, Harry Potter, The Hero with a Thousand Faces Pages: 2 (403 words) Published: April 28, 2014
The concept of the Hero's Journey was described by mythologist Joseph Campbell in his book ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ and refined by Christopher Vogler in his book ‘The Writer's Journey’. It can be boiled down to four stages:

- Separation/Departure: the Hero leaves the familiar world behind. - Struggle/Initiation: the Hero learns to navigate the unfamiliar world of adventure. - Return/Reintegration: the Hero returns to the familiar world. - Gift/New Power: the hero has been given or has acquired something from his journey of great value he had not originally began with

The pattern of the Hero's Journey can be found in shows ranging from Star Trek to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. George Lucas claims to have used it as a guide when writing Star Wars. Traditionally, the Hero's Journey was cyclic; a female Hero's Journey is more likely to be cyclic than a male's. Buffy The Vampire Slayer fits this to a tee; the movie is the first cycle, and each season roughly corresponds to one additional cycle. The Journey game intentionally fits this model exactly, even referring specific steps in the soundtrack's titles. The Harry Potter books can also be seen to be cyclic in this fashion, although the journey was followed more closely in the earlier installments. The sixth and seventh books are arguably one cycle divided into two parts. With the final book having been split into two films, the last three films kind of form their own mini-trilogy, with each installment covering a step in the departure-initiation-return model. An interesting element is the fact that in the first five books/films, the Muggle world is the ordinary world and Hogwarts is the world of adventure, but in the Prince/Hallows duology/trilogy, Hogwarts has become the ordinary world and now it is the world beyond Hogwarts which is the world of adventure.

Compare Campbell's description of the journey with Booker's The Seven Basic Plots, especially the plots of Overcoming the Monster, The Quest,...
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