The Hero’s Journey- Erynn Pontius

I think this concept by Joseph Campbell is very interesting; of all the very popular and famous movies and series I couldn’t think of one that didn’t contain these seven essential characters and coordinating story line. For me it then begged the question, why do we as an audience enjoy this type of story so much? All of the seven characters Campbell describes are important, but I believe three characters in particular are crucial to the making of a beloved hero’s journey classic.

To begin with we empathize with the ‘hero’ in their beginning stage of being considered ordinary, and I believe people are very intrigued by this idea that they aren’t average, boring people but have the potential to be extraordinary. Although we may not consciously realize it, we all have the desire to rise to something greater or obtain the type of glory these heroes find in the end.

We are also captivated by the shape-shifter characters.  As a spectator to any kind of story, I don’t like to know or be able to guess exactly how the plot is going to pan out. I thought the example in the clip was perfect portraying the character of Jack Sparrow because his constant shift in ideals and motives really contributed to the success of those movies. The complexity of this type of character keeps us on our toes and gives our brain a sort of puzzle to try to piece together as to what they will or won’t do next.

Also I think the villain is key in developing the plot. We all face or have known heartless and despicable people throughout our lives and we enjoy seeing these types of people lose. We like to see good people win and overcome difficulties because this scenario doesn’t always happen for us in real life.

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2 thoughts on “The Hero’s Journey- Erynn Pontius

  1. meaganmthornton January 28, 2015 / 4:00 am

    I like your thoughts a lot. I agree that this kind of story appeals to a general audience because it is deep in the race to want to see people succeed. I don’t think we necessarily like it because it’s not something we get to see in real life. I think to some degree or another “dreams come true” often in many people’s lives. For example a woman might dream of someday having a baby of her own and when that happens she feels that joy. Though having a baby might not seem on the surface like the fulfillment of some great thing I think for millions of people around the world something so seemingly normal from the outside is in reality a dream come true for them. -Sara Haller

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    • meaganmthornton February 8, 2015 / 11:01 pm

      I want to explore further the question you raise at the beginning – why do we like these story arcs? This is a good question and one that deserves some more inquiry. – Meagan

      Like

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