Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s journey is an example of classical storytelling and story structure. You may not have heard the term, but you have all seen it played out in every movie you’ve seen. Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman are all examples of the Hero’s Journey. The most important part of the journey is when our character accepts the quest that starts in ordinary world and leads him to the special world. In Star Wars, it is when Luke leaves his home planet and journeys to become a Jedi Knight.

Conflict is central in the hero’s journey. Both internal and external struggles will be experienced along the way. The journey brings about big change and commitment to the cause. Our character moves from limited awareness to increased awareness. Without the journey, it is impossible to grow as a person or to develop character. (That is our walk with God in a nutshell.) Also, meaning and purpose can be derived from the journey.

Stages of the Hero’s Journey

1. The Ordinary World
The audience meets the hero, discovers his or her ambitions and limitations, and forms a bond of identification and recognition.

2. The Call to Adventure
 The hero is challenged to undertake a quest or solve some problem.

3. Refusal of the Call
 The hero hesitates or expresses fear.

4. Meeting with the Mentor
 The hero contacts some source of reassurance, experience, or wisdom.

5. Crossing the Threshold
 The hero commits to the adventure and enters the Special World.

6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies
 Situations and people help the hero discover what is special about the Special World.
7. The Approach
 The hero prepares for a central battle of confrontation with the forces of failure.

8. The Ordeal
 The central crisis of the story in which the hero faces his or her greatest fear and tastes death.

9. The Reward
 The moment in which the hero is reborn in some sense and enjoys the benefits of the Special World.

10. The Road Back
 The hero commits to finishing the adventure and leaves or is chased out of the Special World.

11. The Resurrection
 A climactic test that purifies, redeems, and transforms the hero on the threshold of home.

12. Return with the Elixir
 The hero comes home and shares what has been gained on the quest, which benefits friends, family, community and the world.

1 comment:

  1. To truly understand hero's journey / monomyth, you need to get to grips with Kal Bashir's version at