What is the hero’s journey
What is the hero’s journey? Why do we still learn about it today?
“The hero journey is inside of you; tear off the veils and open the mystery of yourself.” is a quote by Joseph Campbell, one of the well-known scholars, who in his book has discussed the theory of the journey of the archetypal hero. So, what is the hero’s journey and why do we still learn about it today? Heroes are often remarkable people. We have come across heroes in real life as well as fictional heroes in books and movies. Hero’s journey defines the actions a character is likely to take in his or her path to become a hero. Hero stories takes us through their journey which inspires us, gives us wisdom and above all helps us in becoming a better person.
A hero’s journey can be divided into 3 stages – departure, initiation and return, , each stage having many steps.It’s amazing to know how many of our favorite stories have followed this pattern – Spiderman, Shrek, harry Potter, Finding Nemo etc. Let us look into the details of each step in this remarkable journey.
Call to Adventure is the first step in the journey. This call is something that prompts the hero to take action. The hero at first might reject the call, but eventually will decide to take action. This step also forces the hero to give up his or her everyday life. In the popular movie “Finding Nemo”, Marlin wants his son who is in danger, but doesn’t want to travel alone out of fear.
The next step is Crossing the Threshold which is a boundary between the life the hero is familiar with and the unknown challenges and dangers awaiting him or her. This is when the hero usually meets or finds a mentor who provides assistance, direction and boosts the confidence. Marlin meets Dory, and gains confidence and is ready to face the adventure. The hero is geared up to leave home and sets off on his journey. Marlin leaves his cozy home and swims to find Nemo in the wide open ocean.
Most of the excitement in a hero’s journey comes in the next few steps and they make up the bulk of the journey. Challenges – the hero has to face many tests, fight battles, confront the enemies in order to win the battle and complete the journey. The mentor is usually along with the hero guiding him all along. As the hero encounters new challenges, he or she is learning the rules of the new world and trying to adjust in there. The hero meets a lot of people and has to determine whether they are enemies or allies.