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City of Bones Monomyth ISU

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Selby J

on 17 December 2013

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Transcript of City of Bones Monomyth ISU

Gaining Clear Sight: The Heroine's Journey in Cassandra Clare's "City of Bones"

Call to Adventure
"Clary?" It was Simon's voice. She whirled around. He was standing by the storage room door. One of the burly bouncers who'd stamped hands at the front door was next to him. "Are you okay?" He peered at her through the gloom. "Why are you in here by yourself? What happened to the guys -- you know, the ones with knives?"
Clary stared at him, then looked behind her, where Jace, Isabelle, and Alec stood, Jace still in his bloody shirt with the knife in his hand. He grinned at her and dropped a half-apologetic, half-mocking shrug. Clearly he wasn't surprised that neither Simon nor the bouncer could see them." pp15-16
It was at this point that Clary realized that she was different from other people. She had the ability to see both worlds but other people (referred to as Mundanes) could only see the human world. This event starts Clary on her adventure.

Crossing the Threshold
Tests and Trials
Climax or Supreme Obstacle
Return Home
Works Cited
Clarissa (Clary) Fray: both her mother (Jocelyn) and her father (Valentine) were Shadowhunters. This fact was hidden from Clary by her mother through a spell cast by Magnus Bane. Clary had no knowledge of the alternate world and she thought her mother was an artist and her father had died overseas before she was born. Clary's father had "been a decorated soldier serving overseas. Jocelyn had some of his medals in a small box by her bed. Not that the medals had done anyone any good when Jonathan Clark had crashed his car into a tree just outside Albany and died before his daughter was even born."
(Clare p. 21)
The author lets Clary and the reader discover the truth about her birth at the same time. The reader feels as if he or she is on the journey with Clary. In a conversation with Luke, Clary says "That's what you're telling me, right? That Valentine was - is - my father?" and later Clary adds "You're telling me that my dad is a guy who is basically an evil overlord and you don't want me to get upset?" (Clare p. 404)

It's interesting that the author whose last name is "Clare" chose the name Clarissa for the main character. The meaning of the name Clarissa is "clear"or "brilliant" (http://www.meaning-of-names.com/) and in the novel Clary gains the ability to see both the human world and the Shadow World.
Clary sees an unusual boy at Pandemonium. He catches her eye because of his eyes were the "colour of antifreeze, spring grass" (Clare p. 2). Clary sees him being followed by two men with knives and she alerts Simon and asks him to get help. It turns out that only Clary can see these people and the knives. When Simon and the bouncer arrive, they only see empty space even though Clary can see both sets of characters. This is when Clary is introduced to the Shadow World.
Clary's mother is kidnapped and their apartment ransacked. Clary commits herself to finding her mother and bringing her back. This leads to the search for the Mortal Cup and is the reason Clary undergoes the tests and trials. Clary finds herself cut off from most of the human world except for Simon.
Even though Clary had been angry at her mother earlier, she now really wants to find her and she fears the worst. The author keeps the reader in suspense the whole time because just like Clary, the reader doesn't fully understand what is going on. This is shown when Clary tries to call home to speak with her mother:
"No!" Terror scraped Jocelyn's voice raw. "Don't come home! Do you understand me, Clary? Don't you dare come home. Go to Simon's. Go straight to Simon's house and stay there until I can --" A noise in the background interrupted her: the sound of something falling, shattering, something heavy striking the floor --
"Mom!" Clary shouted into the phone period. "Mom, are you all right?"
A loud buzzing noise came from the phone. Clary's mother's voice cut through the static: "Just promise me you won't come home. Go to Simon's and call Luke -- tell him he's found me -- " Her words were drowned out by a heavy crash like splintering wood. (Clare p. 45)
Clary is now separated from the world she knew. The reader and Clary must learn the ways of the Shadow World together. The author, Clare, chose this structure to involve the reader in the story. The reader and Clary are on the journey together.
There are many different tests and trials that Clary faces. Some are physical and some are psychological.
The attack by the Ravener is a physical fight. The Ravener is a monster sent to kill Clary at the apartment. This is the incident which shows that Clary is truly a Shadowhunter because Jace's Stele doesn't harm her. If Clary had been an ordinary mortal, the stele would have made turned her into a monster called a Forsaken.
"Clary was too weak to run and there wasn't time to hide -- she would have died. So I used my stele -- put a mendelin rune on the inside of her arm. I thought --"
"Are you out of your mind?" Hodge slammed his hand down on top of the desk so hard that Clary thought the wood might crack.
Later Hodge explains that Jace "could have turned her into a Forsaken" (Clare p. 71) if Clary had been an ordinary mortal.
The Silent Brothers mind probe is a psychological test. Clary has to overcome her fear of having the archivists probe her mind for hidden memories. She is brave enough to do this because of the strength of her need to find her mother.
Clary is very nervous about meeting with the Silent Brothers and Jace asks Clary if she wants to know the truth about her life.
"I don't want someone else inside my head," she said weakly. She knew he was right but the idea of turning herself over to beings that even the Shadowhunters thought were creepy sent a chill through her blood (Clare p. 159).
The author uses this situation to demonstrate just how desperate Clary is to rescue her mother.
The battle with the Vampires is a physical fight. It's important because this is the battle to rescue Simon and it's here that Clary realized how important Simon is in her life. Clary and Jace find themselves caught in the middle of a war between vampires and werewolves. They must join in the fight to rescue Simon and stay alive themselves.
"Now this, " said Jace, "is a situation" (Clare p. 280). Jace is explaining that vampires and werewolves hate each other. He tells Clary that they are about to be in the middle of a war.
It is during this fight that Clary first throws a dagger. She hits the werewolf by instinct and so this shows that she had Shadowhunter blood although she never realized it.
Clary has friends and helpers in each of the two worlds.
Simon is from human world. He is in love with Clary but she doesn't realize it. He would do anything for her. Clary sees him as more of a brother figure but she does risk her life to rescue him when he is turned into a rat and taken by the vampires.
Simon tells Clary that "I've been in love with you for ten years, so I thought it seemed like time to find out whether you felt the same about me. Which, I guess, you don't." Clare p. 320).
When Simon is angry at Clary he says, "You're so stupid, Clary. You're so stupid, can't you see anything?" (Clare p. 320). The author has Simon ask this because the whole book is about Clary being able to see things in both worlds. So even though she can now see things in the Shadow World she is blind to some things in the human world. Clare is using this scene to show that Clary doesn’t have clear vision about all things yet.
In spite of being hurt because Clary doesn't love him the same way, Simon still helps Clary in her fight with Valentine. He proves that he is loyal no matter what.
Jace is from the Shadow World . He helps explain to Clary about the different beings that inhabit this world and helps her navigate the strange situations she faces. Clary is attracted to Jace. He stays with her throughout her search for her mother and goes to battle with the vampires. Jace saves Clary after the Ravener attacks her and risks getting it trouble when he takes her to the Institute. He also follows her through the portal from Madame Dorothea's to Luke's.
Clary says to Jace: "You didn't have to come after me."
"Yes, I did " he said. "You're far too inexperienced to protect yourself in a hostile situation without me." Clare p. 111). Jace won't leave Clary alone, knowing that she could get hurt.
Simon and Jace are rivals who dislike each other but they are both necessary for Clary to succeed.
Other helpers in the Shadow World are Hodge, Isabelle and Alec who are involved with Clary's search for her mother.
Luke acts as a father figure to Clary in the human world and also helps her on her search in the Shadow World.
Magnus Bane is from the Shadow World. He both helps and is an obstacle to Clary at the same time. Magnus means "great" as in powerful and the word bane means a cause of great distress and so even his name shows the two sides to his character. Clary goes to Magnus Bane to have her mind block removed even though she is scared to do this. At Clary's mother's request, Magnus had put a mind block on Clary so that she couldn't see the Shadow World and would forget any memories of it. This block had to be refreshed every two years. When Clary went to see Magnus, he explained that the spell couldn't be reversed but was wearing off and that was why she was now starting to see shadow beings. Clary has to fight with her own mind to try to find the answers hidden there. Eventually, Magnus gives her the remember rune to help Clary remember hidden thoughts. So Magnus was the one who caused Clary’s memories to be lost in the first place but he also is the one who gives her the rune to help remember.
Jace ignored him. "Magnus showed you the rune for understanding and remembrance. It opens your mind up to reading and recognizing the rest of the marks" (Clare p. 234).
The author is showing the reader that even though Clary has left the world she knew, she is not alone.
The climax takes place at a deserted lunatic asylum called Renwick on Blackwell's Island. Here Clary faces her real father, Valentine, and tries to rescue her mother who is in a sort of coma. This is the climax of the novel because Clary finds her mother and she discovers the truth about her father and Luke and what she thinks is the truth about Jace.
The reader thinks that Jace is going to kill Valentine but just before he does, Valentine goes through the portal destroying it behind him so that none of the others can follow. Clare keeps the reader guessing by introducing this twist to the plot.
"And with a shocking suddenness, he swung his fist toward Jace. Clary cried out, but the blow never connected: instead it struck the surface of the portal between them with a sound like a thousand fragile shattering things. Spiderwebbing cracks fissured the glass-that-was-not-glass; the last thing Clary heard before the portal dissolved into a deluge of ragged shards was Valentine's derisive laughter" (Clare p. 464)
After this, the reader is left wondering if Valentine will ever be found and this sets up the problem to be solved in the next books in the series.
Clary has found her mother and even though Jocelyn is not conscious, Clary's quest has been concluded and they are all safe.
Clary says to Jace: "We have my mom back. We have you. We have everything that matters" (Clare p. 466).

Clary and her mother return to the human world but the author does not describe their journey. The novel jumps from the scene of the meeting with Valentine to the hospital where Jocelyn is under care. The reader has to assume that they travelled back from Blackwell’s Island to the human world but the author doesn’t tell this directly. This is not described because it wasn’t significant to the story.
After the climax of her adventure, Clary is back in the human world. Her mom is in a hospital but no one is sure how to help her. Simon offers to drive Clary home and she must choose where her home is. She decides that she is not going to return to the apartment where she lived before she gained her ability to see the Shadow World.
Simon asks Clary, "Where are we going again? Tell me uptown or downtown at least."
"To the Institute," said Clary (Clare p. 472).
This shows that Clary has chosen the Shadow World as her new home instead of the human world. Her life has been forever changed by her experience.
Toward the end of the novel, the author has Clary more firmly attached to the Shadow World. She can never go back to the way she was before her adventure because her way of seeing the world has been drastically changed. She has gained knowledge and in a way has been reborn as a Shadowhunter because of the experience she went through.
Clary's elixir is her ability to see and understand the Shadow World. The whole novel is about having clear sight. Clary is at first blind because of the mind blocking spell Magnus had put on her and because she had never been taught about the Shadow World. Clary is also blind about Simon's love for her - this is interesting because it is similar to the way that Jocelyn is blind about Luke's love for her. Jace is cannot see the truth about his father because he had been told a false story about his younger life. At the end of the novel, most of these blindspots have been cleared.
Clary now understands more about herself and the worlds around her. She is willing to face her new surroundings without fear. This is shown at the end of the novel when she is riding on the flying vampire motorcycle with Jace.
"She held on tightly as he angled the cycle up, gunning it so that it shot forward and darted up the side of the bridge like a bird freed from a cage. Her stomach dropped out from under her as the silver river spun away and the spires of the bridge slid under her feet, but this time Clary kept her eyes open, so that she could see it all" (Clare p. 485)
Clary happily uses her new-found clear sight in her everyday life. She is able to clearly see people and things in both the human world and the Shadow World. Her journey has taken her from being an ordinary girl living an average life in the human world to being a Shadowhunter who has amazing abilities in the Shadow World.
I chose a question mark as the symbol for birth
because the beginning of Clary's life is a mystery
to her, she doesn't know who her real father is, doesn't know about the Shadow World and doesn't know that Magnus Bane put a memory block in her mind.
The eye is an important symbol for the Call to Adventure because it is during the trip to Pandemonium that Clary first discovers that she can see the Shadow World. She is able to perceive Jace, Isabelle, Alec and the demon boy while the others in the night club are oblivious to them.
Clary is helped by several people but the most important person is Jace. He first uses his Stele to mark Clary with a hiding rune when she was injured by the Ravener.
"She saw an inked black symbol like the ones that covered his skin, just below the fold of her wrist. This one looked like a set of overlapping circles.
"What's that supposed to do?"
"It'll hide you," he said. "Temporarily." (Clare p. 55)
The runes are marks on the skin which Shadowhunters are able to use to enhance their powers. The author is showing that Clary is part of the magical world and is moving away from the human world.
Later Jace gives Clary a long thin dagger to use before they go to Magnus' party (Clare p. 214) even though she worries she won't know what to do with it. The author is showing the reader that Jace believes in Clary's abilities even when she doubts them herself. Jace knows that Clary will have to fight for herself and that his gift will protect her.
Throughout the novel, Jace helps Clary by providing her with tools to survive in the Shadow World. The author uses Jace as a support system for Clary because she had no training in the ways of the magical world.
Runes are important in the
novel, They act like amulets
and protect the person who
bears them. Different runes
enhance different abilities.
They also support the theme of clarity of vision. Runes are not always visible even if they are present. Only Shadow dwellers can see the runes on a person's skin.

The door in the wall represents the choice Clary has made to enter the Shadow World. Once she decides to find her mother, she closes the door shut on the regular mundane world.
In her role as a Shadowhunter, Clary faces both psychological and physical challenges. She must develop her fighting skills in both areas if she is to succeed in her quest. She also must train her mind to adapt to this new world.
Although the heroine's journey is seen as a single quest, many figures are needed to fulfill the task at hand. Each of the helpers serve a different role and each has different abilities.
Clary learns from the people who assist her and she grows as a person because of them.
Just like a knight must slay a dragon, Clary must defeat the monsters in her life. Some of these monsters are real like her father Valentine. Other monsters are in her mind like the conflict she feels when she is told that Jace is her brother.
The dragon is an age old symbol of a supreme obstacle.
A black hole represents an empty space and is just like the absence of a description of the flight in this story.
An eye chart is used to measure
clear vision. When Clary returns
home, she has perfect sight of
both worlds. She has gained clarity
of vision but also insight into her
own character. She understands
the truth about her parents and
her role in both societies.
Clary`s elixir is her ability to see things clearly. This can be represented by the binoculars which bring objects into focus. Clary can use her new-found skill to help her navigate the shadow World and continue her work as a Shadowhunter.
Clare, Cassandra. "City of Bones". New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007.


by Selby Juskans
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