Hero’s Journey Essay


Joseph Campbell was a 20th century psychologist who is best known for his work on the Hero’s Journey. This is the idea that there is a common pattern to stories and myths across cultures, and that this pattern can be used to understand human psychology.

The Hero’s Journey typically goes like this:

1. The hero starts in their “normal world”

2. They receive a call to adventure, which they may resist at first

3. They meet a mentor figure who helps them prepare for the journey ahead

4. They embark on their quest, facing challenges and obstacles along the way

5. They eventually triumph, returning to their normal world with new knowledge or power

This pattern can be seen in stories as diverse as The Odyssey, Star Wars, and The Hunger Games.

Campbell’s work has had a major influence on popular culture, and he is often cited by filmmakers and writers as an inspiration for their work. His ideas have also been used in psychology to help understand why people behave the way they do.

The ordinary world is the first stage in The Hero’s Journey. This phase shows the hero’s average life at the start of the tale, and it may give them a glimpse of a new fantastic realm to explore and motivate them to begin their journey. The Call to Adventure occurs in the second step. The protagonist is confronted with something that motivates them to start on their journey. It might be an issue or obstacle they must overcome.

The third step is Refusal of the Call. The hero may try to avoid their adventure or they may not believe they are good enough to succeed. The fourth step is Meeting the Mentor. This is where the hero meets someone who helps them on their journey. They may teach them skills or give them advice.

The fifth step is Crossing the Threshold. This is when the hero leaves their comfort zone and starts their adventure. They may face many challenges along the way. The sixth step is The Road of Trials. The hero will face several challenges that test them both mentally and physically. They will need to overcome these challenges to continue on their journey.

The seventh step is The Innermost Cave. This is the darkest and most difficult part of the journey. The hero will face their greatest challenge here. They may even face death. The eighth step is Return with the Elixir. The hero has completed their journey and overcome their challenges. They have learned and grown from their experience and are now ready to return to their normal life.

Joseph Campbell was a psychologist and thought leader who proposed the idea of the Hero’s Journey. He believed that every person goes through a similar journey in life, regardless of culture or time period. The journey begins with the hero leaving their comfort zone and venturing into the unknown. They will face many challenges along the way, but if they persevere they will emerge triumphant with newfound wisdom and understanding.

The Hero’s Journey & The Pursuit of Happiness The hero is a prevalent topic that is much discussed in both real and fictional society. It’s commonly assumed that we talk about heroes all the time, yet no one seems to have a common understanding about what makes a hero. Many people believe that someone with superhuman abilities, strength, valor, and bravery is considered a hero.

However, Joseph Campbell’s definition of a hero is different from the general thought. Joseph Campbell was an American mythologist who wrote “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. In his opinion, a hero is someone who follows “the hero’s journey”. The hero’s journey is a cycle of steps that Joseph Campbell proposed all mythic stories follow. It begins with the hero being called to adventure, and ends with the return home with knowledge and power.

There are many examples which Joseph Campbell used to support his idea such as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars and Simba in The Lion King. However, I would like to use the example of Chris Gardner in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”. The reason I choose this example is because the movie is based on a true story and Gardner is an ordinary person without any superpower.

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film directed by Gabriele Muccino and starring Will Smith as Chris Gardner, a homeless man who became a stockbroker after enduring several challenges in his life. The screenplay by Steve Conrad is based on the best-selling autobiography of the same name written by Gardner with Quincy Troupe.

The movie starts when Chris was evicted from his apartment with his five-year-old son Christopher for failing to pay rent, which leads to them becoming homeless. They spent their nights sleeping in public restrooms and their days panhandling and looking for work. Eventually, Chris was given an opportunity to intern at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, Dean Witter Reynolds, as a bone density scanner salesman. Even though he was the only one without a college degree, he excelled in the program and was eventually offered a full-time position as a junior broker.

Throughout the movie, we can see that Chris Gardner is just an ordinary person who faces many challenges in his life. However, he never gives up and continues to pursue his dream. He follows Joseph Campbell’s “the hero’s journey” and eventually achieves success.

The hero’s journey is not just about achieving success. It is also about the journey and the process. It is a cycle of steps that Joseph Campbell proposed all mythic stories follow. It begins with the hero being called to adventure, and ends with the return home with knowledge and power.

The first step of the hero’s journey is “the call to adventure”. The call to adventure is when the hero is called to leave his ordinary world and venture into unknown territory. For Chris Gardner, the call to adventure was when he was evicted from his apartment and became homeless.

The second step of the hero’s journey is “the meeting with the mentor”. The meeting with the mentor is when the hero meets someone who will help him on his journey. For Chris Gardner, the meeting with the mentor was when he met Bob Bridges, who offered him the internship at Dean Witter Reynolds.

The third step of the hero’s journey is “the crossing of the threshold”. The crossing of the threshold is when the hero crosses into the unknown world. For Chris Gardner, the crossing of the threshold was when he started his internship at Dean Witter Reynolds.

The fourth step of the hero’s journey is “the trials and tests”. The trials and tests are when the hero faces challenges and must overcome them. For Chris Gardner, the trials and tests were when he was homeless and had to take care of his son, Christopher.

The fifth step of the hero’s journey is “the achievement of the goal”. The achievement of the goal is when the hero achieves his goal or what he set out to do. For Chris Gardner, the achievement of the goal was when he became a stockbroker and was offered a full-time position at Dean Witter Reynolds.

The sixth and final step of the hero’s journey is “the return home”. The return home is when the hero returns to his ordinary world with knowledge and power. For Chris Gardner, the return home was when he returned to his apartment with his son, Christopher.


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