Category Archives: Hero’s Journey

Reign Man’s journey

This website* addressing Joseph Campbell’s seminal work** on the journey of the hero has a very comprehensive analysis of that work. I have copy/pasted its summary of the stages of that journey. I have emphasised the stages appropriate to my character’s journey and appended (in square brackets) the reasons I see that alignment.

“The Hero’s Journey Outline

The Hero’s Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development.  It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization.

Its stages are:

  1. THE ORDINARY WORLD.  The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma.  The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history.  Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.
    [Reign Man lives in a world where his inner life is plagued with intrusive thoughts, binary thinking (un-nuanced desire/aversion) and attacks of tinnitus.]
  2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE.  Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change.
    [From within comes the desire for change. It is not the outer world he must change or move away from but his inner existence]
  3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL.  The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly.  Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.
  4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR.  The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey.  Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.
    [We do not see these meetings but it is implied that he has sought far and wide for ‘training, equipment, or advice’ through extensive reading, travel, and meetings with sages.]
  5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD.  At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.
    [Armed with the knowledge gained through this extensive study, he regularly crosses from the outer to his inner world.]
  6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES.  The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.
  7. APPROACH.  The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.
  8. THE ORDEAL.  Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life.
    [While within himself, he applies the many techniques he has learned, both subtle and aggressive, in his bid to gain the reward he seeks. A necessary part of many of those techniques is that there must be a partial surrender of his understanding of the concept of self; in other words, he often experiences partial deaths of the self.]
  9. THE REWARD.  The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death.  There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.
    [The reward he takes possession of is a respite from those challenges.]
  10.   THE ROAD BACK.  About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home.  Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.
    [Reign Man returns to his outer world.]
  11.  THE RESURRECTION.  At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home.  He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level.  By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.
  12.  RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR.  The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.”
    [Reign Man continues the journey and, each time he successfully completes an inner journey of transformation, he returns with a more strengthened mental elixir.]

*Hero’s Journey accessed at http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero’s_journey.htm

**Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 1972. USA: Princeton University Press

Advertisements