Heroes Journey

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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Using the term hero is like using the word jerk. Seriously, like say, you call some guy a jerk because he took the parking place you were about to pull into. You believe that this fellow is a jerk because the qualities he possesses and achievements he has done have been negative and do nothing positive. Maybe others believe he is a jerk too, maybe some don't.

Now let's look at a hero. This is someone who possesses the opposite qualities of the aforementioned character. Someone who achieves something for the greater good of himself or his surroundings. Joseph Campbell says that a hero is "someone who has found something or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience." ". . . someone who has given his or her self to something bigger than oneself." You could say this character realizes that by doing something extravagant, he can help benefit himself and can show others that obstacles can be overcome.

Campbell follows by telling us about deeds that heroes perform. "One is a physical deed . . . the other kind is the spiritual deed." He explains that the hero's journey "begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there is something lacking in the normal experiences available . . ." Absolutely! I really liked Old Man and the Sea. It totally spoke to me. Here's this guy who is not really mad that he can't catch fish. He just seems to feel kind of defeated. Fishing was his life, he went out everyday and sort of became one with the sea. He knew how it worked, how it flowed, how the fish bit, where they were, the best way to catch them, what kind of bait to use . . . basically all...