A Hero's Journey Analysis

Decent Essays
The Stages of the Heroes Journey
American scholar Joseph Campbell was an author and researcher whose exploration of comparative mythology exposed the universal pattern that underlies a hero’s journey in human culture. Campbell calls this pattern the "Adventure of the Hero", and claims that the standard hero's journey is one of separation, initiation, and return. He states that “a hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered, and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man” (Campbell 28). He discovered that most myths follow this same “strikingly rigid pattern beneath [a] variety of
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Instead of announcing how the protagonist’s actions contributed to society after describing his heroic journey like most myths, Borges begins the tale with Tsun’s return with his “life-transmuting trophy” (Campbell 179). In the opening lines of Borges “The Garden of Forking Paths,” Yu Tsun has completed his adventure and is in prison because he shot a British man, Stephen Albert. Tsun shoots Stephen Albert to relay his knowledge that there is a secret weapon stash hidden in the city of Albert to his chief, but this reasoning is not revealed until later. Tsun committed this heroic act with full knowledge that while it would save the German forces; it could ultimately lead to his downfall. Much like Tsun, Campbell claims that commonly a hero “may [be met] with such a blank misunderstanding and disregard from those whom he has come to help that his career will collapse” upon his return (34). Yu Tsun took on this heroic mission to demonstrate to his xenophobic chief that Tsun, a man of a different descent, would sacrifice himself for the German army. However, even after Tsun proved his allegiance, the chief still sentences him to hang. Because we are introduced to Tsun after his return instead of before his departure, we do not
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