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Touching Spirit Bear Hero's Journey

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by

Chloe Smalley

on 31 August 2016

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Transcript of Touching Spirit Bear Hero's Journey

Cole's probation officer, a Tlingit Native American, recommends Circle Justice, a group that seeks to heal convicts instead of punish them. Cole agrees in hope of avoiding jail time.
Cole is a baby faced convict living in Minneapolis, who's used to getting what he wants. His anger issues are mostly caused by his abusive father and his mother who never stood up for him. He is arrested after assaulting a classmate who rats on him for a break-in. The boy is critically injured and Cole may be tried as an adult.
Ordinary World
Crossing the Threshold
Cole crosses the threshold when he arrives at the island. He has plenty of supplies and could easily live through the year but decides to escape and burns down the cabin and supplies. Of course, when he attempts to escape the island he fails and is brought back by the incoming tide.
Approach to the Inmost Cave
Cole sees the Spirit Bear and, angry the bear does not fear him, attempts to kill it with a makeshift spear. The bear defends itself, breaking Cole's pelvis, right arm and multiple ribs. The bear then leaves Cole there to die, but Cole still refuses to humble himself.
Refusal to Call
Cole doesn't refuse the call necessarily but rather must overcome many obstacles to reach the island. One of these is that many of the people in Circle Justice do not believe him and would prefer if he was put in jail. Cole himself is hesitant to go to the island, frightened by the idea of being alone.
By: Chloe Smalley
Touching Spirit Bear Hero's Journey
Meeting with the Mentor
He has three mentors throughout the book, the first being Garvey who gets him into Circle Justice. The second is Edwin, another Tlingit who teaches him to control his anger and the third mentor is the Spirit Bear, who teaches him forgiveness and true beauty. Cole fails to appreciate his mentors at first but eventually learns.
Tests, Allies, and Enemies
Most of Cole's trials passed during Circle Justice, and now he awaits the biggest test of all. During this portion of the text however it becomes clear that Cole is his own worst enemy, especially his anger.
The Ordeal
Cole fights to survive, after he is attacked, enduring a violent storm and a second encounter with the Spirit Bear, in which Cole finally sees the beauty in the world. During the storm a nest full of baby birds is knocked down and Cole realizes two things from this: 1) everything in his life is insignificant, and 2) he has no control over anything.
The Reward
During this period Cole recovers from the attack and also learns he will probably be sent to jail. However, Garvey, Edwin, and Cole's mother work very hard to get the Circle Justice to agree to let him return to the island on account that he pay for everything and rebuild the cabin.
The Road Back
Cole learns to control his anger in multiple ways on his second return to the island. He does a dance every night to represent an animal, soaks in a freezing pond to cool his anger, and carries a rock to represent his ancestors and then rolls it down the hill to represent his anger.
Resurrection
Peter, the boy Cole assaulted, attempts to kill himself and Cole suggests Peter comes to the island. Out of desperation Peter's parents agree, but Cole's plan backfires as Peter tries to get back at Cole every chance he gets, including destroying one of his carvings on his totem pole.
Return with the Elixir
One day Peter surprises the group by announcing that he wants to go to the pond alone with Cole. Once away from camp Peter attacks Cole, beating him up until he exhausts himself. He falls to the ground sobbing and Cole holds him and in the silence and peace that follows the Spirit Bear emerges, uniting Cole and Peter. Together they carve a circle on the bottom of Cole's totem pole to represent the circle's of life, forgiveness, and friendship.
Call to Adventure
Full transcript