1. Slappydappy
    Offline

    Slappydappy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0

    The Hero's Journey questions

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Slappydappy, Dec 28, 2011.

    I'm almost done with The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and I must say, it has changed my life. I also finished The Writer's Journey by Chris Vogel. I have so many questions about this material, and I feel my knowledge is somewhat incomplete. The questions I am asking may be sophomoric and answered easily. It's just when I have consumed this much material at once, I get a little confused and can't see things right in front of my face.

    He states that the heroes, once near the end of their quest and having finally defeated the Antagonistic forces, now fully understand the "Cosmogonic Cycle", and that they are now a "Master of Two Worlds", able to cross between them effortlessly and without disturbance.

    My question: The Two Worlds he mentions, is the first being the Conscious/Waking World that our hero was physically born into, and the second, being the Unconscious/Dream World that he entered at the First Threshold? Campbell stated that the two worlds are in fact the same, one physical, the second, a symbolic and allegorical version of the first?

    If the hero chooses to return, with his Boon, this Boon is, in essence, knowledge of the Cycle, which is a universal understanding of the order of things.

    Am I on the right track? I may have to read the whole book again one day.
     
  2. Slappydappy
    Offline

    Slappydappy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    And let me add, I was analyzing Pulp Fiction the other day, and here was my interpretation:

    Jules undergoes "Apotheosis" when the bullets miraculously pass through him. This moment raises his awareness to a higher state, as he begins to grasp the workings behind the scenes. He receives the Ultimate Boon at this point.

    At the very end, Ringo and Yolanda confront Jules in the diner. This is the Crossing of the Return Threshold. Now forces assail our changed hero as he re-enters the world. Jules uses his new powers to defeat the Antagonist forces and in the process, becomes the "Master of Two Worlds". In the first world, he is a gun for hire, in the second, an enlightened, complete human. He can pass between the two seamlessly, as he demonstrates by first disarming Ringo and holding him at gunpoint, and then, passing on the wisdom of the new, changed Jules.

    Jules passes on his Boon to mankind. You can see the effect it has on Ringo and Yolanda as they leave. They are shaken to their core.

    Jules now has the Freedom to Live, no longer fearing the future, or regretting the past.
     
  3. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    As I understand it, the two worlds are simply the ordinary world the hero occupies at the beginning and the world he/she has travelled into or through during the story. They need not be disparate physical places, but can be -- they may as well be psychological states or points of view. What is key is that the hero has not merely changed to adapt to the second world, but has grown in his understanding of the first and hence becomes a master of two worlds. In the most basic sense it's the child who leaves home and while gaining experience and learning how to cope in the adult world on his own, he also learns what home and childhood truly means, in the context of a larger world.
     
  4. Whirlwind
    Offline

    Whirlwind Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1
    You need Kal Bashir's 2000+ stage Hero's Journey And Transformation Through A New World / State at http://www.clickok.co.uk/index4.html ; if Campbell changed your life, then Kal will change it all over again.

    Watch all his videos, hard to understand at first but then they become clearer (just like The Hero with a Thousand Faces).

    Chris Vogler's Writer's Journey is closer to the mark but still off.

    Most people don't get HJ as your question and the posts here indicate. There is no need to get mystical about it ("Cosmogonic Cycle"). It's all very practical stuff.

    Watch Kal's videos.
     
  5. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    @Whirlwind
    I somewhat disagree. Hero's Journey was not intended to be a template for Hollywood film-makers but is a work in comparative mythology. This said, it was not written with any "mysticism" in mind and shouldn't be read that way. But neither was Campbell interested in writing a practical sketchbook for storytelling! Bashir's work is something completely different - it's a meta-meta-work from post-monomyth perspective > Hero's Journey is a meta-work on storytelling, Star Wars was influenced by HJ, making it post-Campbell, and Bashir writes about the way you can use monomyth from the perspective of someone shaped by post-Star Wars Hollywood.........
    (I can't believe I just wrote the last paragraph, blaahblah) :)
     
  6. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,123
    Likes Received:
    5,323
    Location:
    California, US
    One thing I've noticed is that writers sometimes assume that their story has to follow the Hero's Journey. Not saying that is the case in this thread, but it bears keeping in mind for anyone working with Campbell's material, or other similar source material, that as Burlbird suggests the Hero's Journey or monomyth applies "myths." Not all stories rise to the level of myths, nor should they.

    And another thing to keep in mind is that not everyone who works in the field of comparative mythology subscribes to Campbell's views on the subject, so there is room for disagreement regarding the idea of the monomyth.
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i suspect there are as many opinions/conclusions as there are readers... and no 'correct' answers to your questions, unless you're asking campbell, which you can't do as he's been gone for a good while... and i wouldn't be surprised if even he told you there's no single answer to any question you might ask about his work...
     
  8. Whirlwind
    Offline

    Whirlwind Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1
    We could swim in the academic / geek minutiae of this……..but as you say, blaahblah.

    In short, we’re talking about datasets and pulling out story structure components (Bashir calls them functions).

    Hero With A Thousand Faces is an ok place to start, but now I suggest Slappydappy put it down and look at Bashir’s work, which will answer his questions and veer him away from mystic hell (“Conscious/Waking World” "Cosmogonic Cycle"). One of the problems with Campbell is the mystic nightmare he leads you into, which takes years to get over. From that POV, it’s the worst book to start with.
     
  9. Whirlwind
    Offline

    Whirlwind Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think every Hollywood story (pertinent if you’re screenwriting) does contain Campbell’s ABC. Even those produced before Campbell (who just really identified a few story structure components). Therefore it’s good method to assume that the story should follow HJ. Which doesn’t mean that they have to be myths at all.

    The question is, does assuming HJ lead you down the wrong path? No it doesn’t.

    It’s certainly better method than simply saying “my story has to have three acts.” Which doesn’t help at all.

    Is HJ enough? No, its not. There’s much more to it. Which is where Bashir comes into his own. And where integrating other POVs helps.
     
  10. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    I still don't get it, Whirlwind. Hero's Journey is a popular book, but I don't understand why would you get into "mystic nightmare" when reading it? If you fall in mysticism when reading Campbell, I won't recommend you read Graves, Jung or even Borges!
     
  11. Slappydappy
    Offline

    Slappydappy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've read a few books on screenwriting and done a few workshops/seminars on storytelling (from McKee, Kitchens, Syd Field, etc.). I like Campbell's work because he takes it one step further, and that is into the unconscious depths of our minds, where our deepest fears and greatest hopes lie.

    I believe an understanding of this material is the key to crafting deeply emotional and iconic scenes, like the endings of Karate Kid, Fight Club, Pulp Fiction (and many more), as opposed to dull lifeless films that we see so often in the theater today. Even movies with big budgets and great acting can be garbage. I feel a writer has to hit you at your very primal core, at the deepest unconscious parts of ourselves (as a human race). It seems that Campbell felt that we do this by using powerful symbols and motifs that our unconscious recognize. I believe there is truth to it, because I feel it as well.

    I will look at Bashir's work as well.
     
  12. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    What's mystical and not practical about "a child grows up to become an independent person"? I doubt there could be a simpler, more direct interpretation of the Hero's Journey.
     

Share This Page