The Hero’s Journey Instructions: Please post 2 peer responses. In the response post, include the following: · Respectfully share your own perspectives and

The Hero’s Journey

Instructions:

Please post 2 peer responses.

In the response post, include the following:

· Respectfully share your own perspectives and ideas with classmates you may disagree with.

· Add new ideas to the discussion instead of just agreeing that something in the reading was interesting or reiterating what others said in the discussion.

· Find an additional source online or in the library that adds a new perspective to what has already been said.

· Offer an opposing viewpoint that is supported by facts and research.

Please be sure to validate your opinions and ideas with citations and references in APA format.

Estimated time to complete response posts: 2 hours

Fictional and mythical hero stories often exhibit recycled themes that transcend cultural and temporal boundaries. The archetype of the hero, exemplified by characters like Frodo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” or Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling’s series, remains well known. The motif of the hero’s journey, as outlined by Joseph Campbell, is evident in ancient myths for example  Hercules’ twelve labors, and contemporary tales such as Neo’s transformation in “The Matrix.” Also, the sacrificial hero, seen in the tragic fate of characters like Arthurian legend’s King Arthur or Marvel’s Iron Man, underscores the enduring way of self-sacrifice for the greater good, emphasizing the universal nature of these recycled themes.

Recycled themes exist so often in fictional and mythical stories due to their timeless resonance with human experiences and emotions. In fact, these narratives often explore fundamental aspects of the human condition, such as love, betrayal, heroism, and self-discovery. By revisiting familiar themes,  the storytellers tap into universal truths that transcend time and culture, creating narratives that resonate with audiences across generations. 

The concept of the monomyth/Hero’s Journey, along with recycled hero story themes, actually reinforces the theory of popular culture by illustrating enduring narrative structures that resonate universally. I think that the patterns create a sense of familiarity and connection among diverse audiences, contributing to the widespread appeal of hero stories. 

References
Campbell, J. (1949). “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Princeton University Press.
 Vogler, C. (1998). “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers.” Michael Wiese Productions.
 Propp, V. (1928). “Morphology of the Folktale.” University of Texas Press.

·
What “recycled themes” are apparent in fictional or mythical hero stories? Give specific examples.  There are a lot of recycled themes in pop culture and entertainment media.  The most notable ones in the past couple decades have been Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker.  Both go on very stereotypical hero’s journey like stories.  Both have humble beginnings living with their uncles who try to persuade them to not pursue the exciting hero’s journey adventure call(Uncle Vernon, Uncle Owen).  Both have a call to action(Hogwarts letter, C-3PO and R2-D2).  Both are taken from their homes by a bearded guides who shows them the how the world actually is(Hagrid, Ben Kenobi).  And both characters eventually end up learning to master their skills and powers from a different wise old man(Dumbledore, Yoda) to fight the evil villain(Voldemort, Darth Vader) both of whom have a strong connection to the main characters from their childhood(murdered parents, is their parent).

·
Why do these recycled themes exist so often in these stories? While the similarities are staggering, I believe this shows the resilience of stories of old and the universal human experience of struggle.  While not as simple as a hero’s journey, most people use these surrogate placeholders for things in their own lives.  They often reference or look to mythical characters for a sense of inspiration or support.  Sayings like “What would {character} do?” often remind people that everyone goes through hard times and deals with trauma.  But the characters reaction to pain and suffering is what defines them.  Additionally, hero’s journey provides a sense of completeness and closure.  Not every conflict can be resolved in a 2 hour period, but the tight nit satisfying conclusion of Harry Potter and Star Wars offer challenges and struggle for the characters that they ultimately overcome and grow from.

·
How does the concept of the mono-myth/Hero’s Journey and the other recycled themes in hero stories support or refute the theory of popular culture you wrote about in your Unit 2 assignment? I think that the recycled themes of the hero’s journey and other common cliches like witty anti hero, dark and brooding and fem fatale point is not only easier for Hollywood and media to portray but they also resonate to a wider demographic of people.  We will often watch a movie and see similarities in ourselves to certain characters as well as those around us.  This slightly refutes my ideas on Critical Theory as that theory is all about anti establishment sentiments and that Hollywood seeks to control the masses through media.  While its obvious that Hollywood reuses all the same themes for profit, the stories would likely still be recycled despite the relyance on money as many of the themes are universal and connect with people regardless of culture or generation.

Thank you,

Royce

References: Caughey, A. (2022). The Hero’s Journey. 
A Companion to JRR Tolkien, 386-398.

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