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The Anti-hero's Journey

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Amanda Drake

on 13 January 2014

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Transcript of The Anti-hero's Journey

The Anti-hero's Journey
World Masterpieces Fall 2013

1. Call to Adventure
2. Threshold to Transformation
3. Meeting the Mentor
4. Challenges and Temptations
5. Into the Abyss/Underworld
6. Transformation
7. Atonement
8. Return (Transformed) Hero as Teacher
Step 2: Threshold to Transformation
Step 3: The Mentor
Step 1: Call to Adventure
While it "may not be as easy or as pleasant as the hero's," the anti-hero must have a call to adventure all the same. An anti-hero also experiences doubts and a "casting out" or rejection that might precipitate their call to adventure that a hero might not experience.
Anti-heroes tend to be more selfish in their motivations or thirsty to "achieve something beyond [their] reach."
Anti-heroes arrive at their threshold much more conflicted, and therefore, they have more difficulty with a linear transformation. Anti-heroes seem to oscillate between heroism and their own selfish morals and motivations.
Now this is where the anti-hero deviates from the path of the hero's journey.
An anti-hero does not have a mentor. He or she has an "instigator" or a partner who tempts the anti-hero into various trials and challenges. While heroes have challenges as well, their mentor usually aids them in overcoming them. The anti-hero's partners, in contrast, want the anti-hero to fail or succumb.
Challenges and Temptations, also known as the anti-hero's "Path to Power."
Here is where the path darkens for the anti-hero. The anti-hero's journey is not marked by success like a hero's. Rather, it features increasing isolation (othering), arrogance (selfish motivations), and a need to fight fate. There are failures, and usually one so extreme that it shakes their path and perhaps sets them on the course to a final transformation, meant to restore some aspect of good to their character. . . .
Revelations and Redemption

Some anti-heroes transform, others do not. All, however, speak to a transformation for the world greater than them (no matter how small). While the anti-hero's ending isn't always happy or even climactic, and he or she will never fully earn the love of the audience, in their redemption, we see the possibilities of our own humanity.
Thanks to all my students for a wonderful semester! But special acknowledgment to (in no particular order) Tyler Frerking, Joshua Coquyt, Jordan Cowart, Tera Swearngin, Colton Buck, Josie Defeo, Allina Robie, Kayla Smith, Shanice Castro, Meredith Hall, Logan Lenz, Jerry Poese, Jessica Cannon, Matthew Molbury, Deonte McDonald, Allyson Medjesky, Harry Meierarend, and Morgan Bellmer for some terrific final exam essays that helped shape this presentation.
For example: Faust and Mephistopheles
Snape and Voldemort
Full transcript