In his book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell sets forth his theory that there is a monomyth which underlies all folk tales, myths, legends, and even dreams. Reflected in the tales of all cultures, including Chinese, Hindu, American Indian, Irish, and Eskimo, this monomyth takes the form of a physical journey which the protagonist (or hero) must undergo in order to get to a new emotional, spiritual, and psychological place. The monomyth is a guide which integrates all of the forces of life and provides a map for living. Joseph Campbell describes a hero's journey as a cycle where the person is a hero from birth. This holds true for the character of Huck Finn because he fits the description of a hero in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. There are different parts of the hero's journey that can be applied to Huck, such as the first stage which is known as the innocent world of childhood. A stage further on in the journey is the initiation while the last stage is known as the freedom to live. All three of the stages can be used to describe a specific time in Huck's life.
The innocent world of childhood is a starting point for many heroes. This is the time span in a hero's life prior to the unexpected adventure he is to embark on. Huck's childhood consisted of childish games with his best friend Tom Sawyer. Huck's days were filled with games of pretend that were supposed to be actual adventures. However, many of the adventures were figments of Tom Sawyer's imagination. This is important to know since Tom's description of an adventure is something that is not real and everything Tom reads contributes to the adventures him and Huck have. Huck's adventures, though, are ones that are unforeseen and probably are the more 'real' ones in the book. Huck's schooling with the widow and Miss Watson are another element of his innocent childhood. Huck experiences what he calls the civilized life. He is fed, wears clean clothes, and is well taken care of. For a...
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