Wednesday, January 1, 2020

What Is the Heros Journey

Understanding the heros journey can make creative writing class, literature class, any English class, easier to ace. Even better, chances are youll enjoy the class immeasurably more when you understand why the heros journey structure makes for satisfying stories. Christopher Voglers book, The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, draws from the psychology of Carl Jung and the mythic studies of Joseph Campbell—two excellent and admirable sources. Jung suggested that the archetypes that appear in all myths and dreams represent the universal aspects of the human mind. Campbells life work was devoted to sharing the life principles embedded in the structure of stories. He discovered that world hero myths are all basically the same story told in infinitely different ways. Elements of the heros journey can be found in some of the greatest and oldest stories. There is a good reason they stand the test of time. Students can use their remarkable theories to understand why stories like The Wizard of Oz, E.T., and Star Wars are so beloved and so satisfying to watch over and over. Vogler knows because he is a longtime consultant to the movie industry and, specifically, to Disney. Why It Matters Well take the heros journey apart piece by piece and show you how to use it as a map. In literature class, it will help you understand the stories you read and allow you to contribute more to class discussions about story elements. In creative writing, it will help you write stories that make sense and are satisfying to your reader. That translates into higher grades. If you happen to be interested in writing as a career, you absolutely must understand what makes stories with these elements the most satisfying of all stories. Its important to remember that the heros journey is a guideline only. Like grammar, once you know and understand the rules, you can break them. Nobody likes a formula. The heros journey is not a formula. It gives you the understanding you need to take familiar expectations and turn them on their heads in creative defiance. The values of the heros journey are whats important: symbols of universal life experience, archetypes. Well be looking at common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. Its important to realize that the journey can be outward to an actual place (think Indiana Jones), or inward to the mind, the heart, the spirit. The Archetypes In upcoming lessons, well look at each of Jungs archetypes and each stage of Campbells heros journey: HeroMentorThreshold GuardianHeraldShapeshifterShadowTrickster The Stages of the Hero's Journey Act One (first quarter of the story) The Ordinary WorldCall to Adventure and the Refusal of the CallMeeting with the MentorCrossing the First Threshold Act Two (second and third quarters) Approach to the Inmost CaveThe OrdealThe Reward (Seizing the Sword) Act Three (fourth quarter) The Road BackResurrectionReturn with the Elixir

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