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The Hero's Journey
Transcript of The Hero's Journey
A recurring pattern of character, symbol, or situation found in the mythology and stories of all cultures
In literature, archetypes are characters, images, and themes that stay the same regardless of plot or time period.
We can find the archetype of the hero everywhere-literature, movies, music, art, media, even video games!
Monomyth: one pattern that all the myths around the world follow
Heroes in all cultures share a pattern or story that is predictable and recognizable.
Heroes do not have to follow all these stages in order to be considered a hero.
You can be a hero and only experience some parts of the pattern.
The hero’s normal world
before the story begins
Marlin, Nemo's dad, is excited about his new home, waiting for new eggs to hatch.
Nemo is excited to go to school, and Marlin is very
protective. He does not want anything to harm Nemo. He is afraid to leave him alone.
The Call to Adventure
The hero is presented with a
problem, challenge, or
adventure to undertake.
Nemo's adventure: he goes out to the boat to prove that he is brave
Problem: Nemo is out in the open ocean and is caught by the men in the boat
Challenge: Marlin has to rescue him
Refusal of the Call
The hero refuses the challenge
or journey, usually out of fear.
Marlin is afraid to go after Nemo because he is
afraid of the open sea.
Meeting with the Mentor
The hero meets a mentor to
gain confidence, advice, or
training to face the adventure.
Through Dory, Marlin will learn how to NOT be afraid and to learn to let go and let Nemo take some risk. He must learn to believe in Nemo.
Crossing the Threshold
The hero leaves his ordinary world for the first time and crosses the threshold into adventure.
Marlin leaves his comfortable safe zone and
swims after Nemo. He continues to follow the boat and search for Nemo in the wide open ocean.
Tests, Allies, Enemies
The hero faces tests, meets
allies, confronts enemies, &
learns the rules of the special
Sharks: lead him to area with diver's mask
School of fish: tell them how to get to Sydney
Crush: sea turtle who helps Marlin travel through the current to get to Nemo
Whale: takes them the rest of the way to Sydney
Pelican: tells Nemo that Marlin is coming & takes Marlin to Nemo
Fish in tank: befriend Nemo and help him to escape
Darla: does not know how to treat animals
Losing the mask with the diver's address
Whale: Swallows them. Marlin has to let go and trust. The lesson learned in the whale is the lesson he needs to apply to Nemo-“Let him go”
The hero has hit setbacks
during tests & may need to
try a new approach
or adopt new ideas.
Marlin believes Nemo is dead after making it to the dentist's office. He tells Dory goodbye and swims away. This setback almost causes him to give up the journey.
The hero experiences a major hurdle or obstacle, such as a life or death crisis.
Marlin goes back to save Dory from the jellyfish. The jellyfish sting Marlin and he almost dies, but he
survives and recovers and gets help from Crush to make it through the currents.
He experiences a rebirth to continue his journey.
Marlin also is able to witness how Crush is able to let his son go and take risks when the boy turtles get knocked out of the current.
After surviving death, the hero earns his reward or accomplishes his goal.
Nemo survives death and gets out of the tank.
Dory helps him find his dad, Marlin and Nemo are reunited!
The Road Back
The hero begins his journey back
to his ordinary life.
The road-back from the journey often includes
another challenge or test to complete.
Marlin is put to the test to see if he has learned his lesson when Dory gets caught in a net.
Nemo wants to save her, but Marlin is reluctant to let Nemo go. He finally realizes that he must let Nemo grow up and take some risk to save Dory.
The hero faces a final test where everything is at stake and he must use everything he has learned.
When Marlin thinks that Nemo is dead, he has to apply everything he has learned--he realizes his mistake and apologizes to Nemo for not believing in him.
Marlin learns to let go of his fear and believe that all will work out in the end.
Return with the Elixir
The hero brings his knowledge or the "elixir" back to the ordinary world, where he applies it to help all who remain there.
Marlin brings Nemo back to the ordinary world
and applies the lessons he has learned.
He allows Nemo to go to school without fear, which allows both of them to live a happier life.
He has learned the importance of trust and letting go.
Think of your favorite book or movie. Does it follow (parts of) the hero’s journey pattern?
The Lord of the Rings
Almost every Disney movie!
The Lion King, Aladdin, Lilo & Stitch, Shrek
Are heroes born or made?
Many things in our lives follow this same pattern.
Our entire life is a hero’s journey if you look at it carefully, but also smaller things are as well. Say we want to learn to play the piano.
We follow the same hero’s journey.
Ordinary Life...This is our life before we start to learn the piano.
Call to Adventure...This is when we decide that we want to learn the piano.
Refusal of the Call...We might have doubts, maybe we think we won’t have enough time, or we won’t be good at piano.
Meeting with the Mentor...Our parents, friends, and/or piano teacher may encourage us.
Crossing the First Threshold...When we begin to learn the piano.
Tests, Allies, Enemies...We face various obstacles along the way.
The Ordeal...Perhaps it is a particularly difficult song to play or a piano exam.
The Reward...We can get a sense of confidence from our playing skills or a good mark on our exam.
The Resurrection...Perhaps it is a big concert or something similar.
The Return with Elixir...You are an accomplished pianist who makes everyone happy with your joyful playing.
People in our lives can also be categorized according to the hero’s journey...
Hero: We are the hero in our own story.
Villains: Could be someone who we dislike or it could be the enemies within ourselves, such as anger, frustration, jealousy, etc.
Mentors: Anyone in our life who has guided us.
Threshold Guardian: Something that stops you from embarking on your adventure or something that stops you from progressing. It could be an actual person doing this or it could be within yourself, for example fear or doubt.
Allies: People who help us and stand by us. This could be our friends, family, or even ourselves.
Can you think of anything in your life that is a hero’s journey?