Black Swan Analysis Essay examples

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Black Swan and The Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell’s mono-myth, as first presented in his book A Hero with a
Thousand Faces, is perhaps not a storytelling model that one would immediately associate with the film Black Swan. Darren Aronofsky’s thriller set in the world of New
York City Ballet is not a prototypical hero’s journey, mostly because it simply doesn’t involve a physical journey into an unknown land. However, as we further examine the structure imposed by writers Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, and John McLaughlin, we can find many of the plot points present in the hero’s journey also present in Black Swan.
The journey is clear, as is the transition into an unknown land; the key difference being that the character’s journey
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She’s not faking it. Pay attention.” Nina’s response is described on page 26:
“Nina stares at her, attracted and threatened.” While this is not a blatant refusal of the call, this moment is about reluctance and fear, and it instills a certain vulnerability in the hero that she will have to overcome in order to succeed in her quest.
The fourth stage of the journey is the Mentor stage. The function of the Mentor is
“to prepare the hero to face the unknown. They may give advice, guidance or magical equipment” (18). This moment in Black Swan can be found on page 36, when Nina visits
Leroy in his apartment after the gala. Here, Leroy nudges Nina towards a bit of sexual play, and ultimately tells Nina to “go home and masturbate. Live a little” (36).
Previously, we’ve established that Nina’s need is to loosen up and let go, if she is to succeed. Thus, this moment establishes Leroy as the Mentor in Nina’s journey, pushing her towards sexual (physical) liberation, a necessary step in her transformation.
Stage five is described by Vogler as the stage where “the hero finally commits to the adventure and fully enters the Special World of the story for the first time by
Crossing the First Threshold” (18). This is the turning point between Acts 1 and 2, where the hero steps into unknown territory. In Black Swan, this moment occurs on page
38 when Nina, following her mentor’s advice, “slowly reaches down under the
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