The Hero With A Thousand Faces

796 Words4 Pages
In 1949, Joseph Campbell published his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” It details his theory of the “monomyth,” a theory that illustrates how many heroic mythological stories have similar outlines and archetypes. During his discussion of the second chapter of the monomyth, Campbell says that the monomyth can “serve as a general pattern for men and women” in their everyday lives (121). In many circumstances, comparisons can be made between normal situations throughout life and the monomyth. When a challenge of task is encountered in life, it can be analyzed under the three main stages of the monomyth: the departure, the initiation, and the return. The first stage of the monomyth is the departure. In this stage, the hero first receives “call to adventure,” either directly or sometimes unwittingly. In a real life example, this would be taking on a task, one that is assigned by someone else or one that is chosen by oneself. This could be an assignment at a job, or it could be the desire to pursue a new hobby. Campbell mentions the “refusal of the call,” or the turning away from the journey. In life, when taking on a task, it can seem too difficult or frightening, and the natural desire may be to turn away. Campbell warns that this “converts the adventure into its negative… [and] the subject loses the power of affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved” (59). Though an adventure may be difficult, the hero will usually gain the assist of a supernatural aid. Many
Get Access