The Mythological Hero in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Introduction

1. Male Heroes

a. The Hero

Summary

b. The Dark Lord

2. Female Heroes

a. A historical Overview

b. Are womanhood and motherhood obstacles on the Heroin's Journey?

c. Comparative Analysis

d. How to become a Campbellian Mythological Heroine

3. Child Heroes

The definitions

The place of the child in society - a historical review

a. The Victorian Era

b. Between the wars

c. The modern era and the influence of the changes in the place of women on the place of children in society

1. Singles (boys or girls)

2. Groups

d. As seen on TV and in the Movies

4. Mythological Heroes (or not…)

 

The Mythological Hero in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

 

Introduction

 

In a faraway land there lived creatures of different species and different races in harmony and peace, and the forces of darkness did threaten to destroy the land, and the people called upon the reluctant Hero to be their Savior, and the Hero went out and led his people in the great battle against the forces of darkness, and he emerged victorious at the very last minute... 

No, but seriously, all good myths behave exactly according to this pattern, and every writer adds to it to the best of his imagination (as seen in the following examples).  

It is impossible, naturally, to have a good myth without two main components - the Savior Hero and the Lord of Darkness, who have an almost symbiotic relationship between them (should I explain why?) and both have some very similar characteristics common to all myths. The topic was the subject of some very serious research, and one of the most prominent among those researches is "the Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell, who very aptly created the portrait of the common mythological Hero. Those interested can leave here for a journey following the mythological hero according to Campbell's model, or join some famous Science Fiction Heroes on their road to glory.

 

As we shall see, most Sc-Fi Heroes are males who set out on their Hero’s Journey relatively late in life. One possible exception is Seyonne, the Hero of Carol Berg’s Rai-Kirah trilogy, who was a Hero in his youth, became a slave and set out again on a Hero’s Journey at a relatively old age.

 

RGW

E&X

  

apotheosis

3

Beowulf

RGW

1

"the Bride"

RGW

4

Indiana Jones

yes

1

Alice ** Last name**

RGW

4

Ellen Ripley

apotheosis

1

Anakin Skywalker

apotheosis

1

Andrew Ender Wiggin

Wait for the last book...

1

Eragon

?

6

Artemis Fowl

apotheosis

1

Jen Yu

yes

1

Dorothy Gale

RGW

7

Harry Potter

yes

1

Wendy Darling

yes

1

Lola

apotheosis

1

Luke Skywalker

apotheosis

1

Lyra Belacqua

apotheosis

1

Paul Atreides

River Crossing

1

Frodo and Bilbo Baggins

RGW

1

Coraline Jones

Yes

1+1

Clarice Starling

apotheosis

1

Cassandra

apotheosis

?

Benjamin Lafayette Sisko

apotheosis

1

Thomas Anderson/Neo

 

 

1. Male Heroes

 

a. The Hero

 

So how does the Campbellian Model of the Mythological Hero work in Sci Fi and Fantasy?

 

The Campbellian Model 

General 

Two Worlds (mundane and special) 

Is the "ordinary world" contemporary or Non-Contemporary?

 

the Ordinary World and the Call to Adventure  

Before the hero can set out on the adventure, the audience first needs to know where he or she is coming from.

In the Ridley Scott film "Gladiator", the hero Maximus is a great Roman general. His Ordinary World is not boring at all. But it is the status quo that he is in when we are brought in to the adventure. He no doubt has undergone another Hero's Journey to achieve his post as general, but we are not privy to that story. So it doesn't concern us.

The average comic book hero doesn't have to go through stages each time for every issue. Some stages like the World of Common Day are taken as read, and are covered in the origins of the character. The reader knows the origins and why the Hero is on his journey (i. e. Peter Parker was just another science nerd living with his aunt until a radioactive spider bit him; Bruce Wayne's parents were killed). The bottom line is that the hero needs a starting point, a frame of reference to pit against the adventurous world they are about to enter. Something has to happen, a catalyst that propels the "normal" person out of the Ordinary World and onto the Hero's Journey. This is...

 

 

 

 

 

the Call to Adventure  

The potential hero is sitting fat, dumb, and happy (proverbially speaking) in the World of Common Day when something comes along and smacks him into the adventure. During romantic stories, this is usually the first glimpse at the object of affection. If the journey is to be inward, perhaps it is the first time the hero recognizes a fault within herself that she wishes to correct. The outward journey's signs are usually easy to recognize.

When other characters bring the Call to the hero, they can be referred to as Heralds.

 

Refusal of the Call

 

The hero cannot achieve his or her full potential without accepting the Call and all the risks that come with it. That is not to say that the hero will succeed, for the road is long and treacherous. But simply getting on the road is a big big step. And the Powers That Be will try to thwart them every step of the way.

 

the HELPER

the ALLY

the SIDEKICK

the MENTOR

the SUPERNATURAL AID; Wizards and Boon-Givers  

The hero needs helpers to help them on the quest. This can break out into several ways. The Helper could be someone extremely minor in the overall sense of the story, just a kind of direction giver or guide, in a sort of, "He went that-a-way" kind of way.

An ALLY (kind of in an 'all caps' kind of way). Someone you'd really want helping you out if you had to take the hero's journey and things got rough.

the SIDEKICK is a character who is always there for the hero and who the hero can always count on, but the SIDEKICK does not experience very much growth themselves, nor do they often reap the benefits of the Hero's Journey like the hero does. In any case, the hero would be greatly crippled if they lost their SIDEKICK, but they would be able to move on and complete the quest. But sometimes the SIDEKICK becomes every bit as important to the Journey as the hero, and if the SIDEKICK were lost, then the entire quest would fail.

Tonto and the Lone Ranger, Robin and Batman.

The mentor is often encountered as an old woman or old man, generally this is to symbolize wisdom, which is associated with age. But most importantly, the MENTOR is someone who may have either walked the path before, or walked a similar path before. Therefore they can pass on advice to the hero (whether the hero regards it or not is a whole different issue). Often the MENTOR will accompany the hero on the quest. But this is not always the case

Does not take part in the quest;

Steps aside;

Dies;

Note it is not uncommon for an Uncle to be a very influential character in the life of the Hero.

Uncle Ben in "Spiderman", whose death actually sets the young Peter Parker on the path to Heroism.

In "Jerry Maguire", the MENTOR only appears in flashback quipping appropriate aphorisms at appropriate times.

SUPERNATURAL AID is exactly that - Boons or assistance given to the hero by a supernatural source

Merlin helps Arthur get Excalibur.

In "Clash of the Titans", the hero, Perseus, is given a shield, a sword, a magical helmet, and a magical mechanical owl all to help him on his quest, not to mention Pegasus the winged horse. These gifts are all provided by the Greek Gods themselves! You don't get much more supernatural than that!

In "Willow", the old wizard gives Willow magical acorns that he will need later in the story.

 

the THRESHOLD OF ADVENTURE 

The hero will often seek out a tavern or pub because he knows there is action to be found there. In Westerns, the key event that may set off a future confrontation will often happen in the town's saloon.

 

Meeting the THRESHOLD GUARDIAN: "You cannot pass." 

When the Hero reaches the THRESHOLD OF ADVENTURE he will not be permitted to pass whilly-nilly. He must earn his passage across.  To help him to do that (and to turn  less worthy individuals away from the path) is the THRESHOLD GUARDIAN.

Note that in some of the cases, the MENTOR/ SUPERNATURAL AID (whether a charactor device), must often perish (or seem to perish) in order to stave off these THRESHOLD GUARDIANS.

Some classic examples of THRESHOLD GUARDIANS are Charon the boatman of the river styx, or Cerberus that guards Hades

The Bridge-keeper in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"; The heroes must answer three questions before he will allow them to cross the bridge;

The three opponents that Wesley (as the Man in Black) must overcome to reach Princess Buttercup in the film (and book) "The Princess Bride";

In "Clash of the Titans", Perseus must use and lose the gifts which the Gods had given him in order to pass through the challenges before him and the guardians that would stop his way.

In a romantic comedy, the THRESHOLD GUARDIAN often manifests himself or herself as the hero's friend who tries to convince them that the object of their affection is beyond their reach.

 

Crossing the THRESHOLD 

This is the stage where the Hero will most likely hear one of the following clichיs: "He went that-a-way" or "Come with me if you want to live."

 

INITIATION 

Upon entering into the World of Adventure, the hero will undergo their first challenges that will form them into the full-fledged hero they will become at the completion of their Hero's Journey.

 

TESTS

1. Brother-Battle and Dragon-Battle

2. Dismemberment and Crucifixion

3. Abduction, Night-sea Journey, and Wonder Journey

 

  

1. Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guard the entrance to Hades. The hero can do battle and defeat him or bring meat to placate and distract him, in order to move beyond and cross the threshold

2. In "The Fugitive", Dr. Kimble has actually "lost" to the one-armed man, he is metaphorically slain since his normal life is destroyed and he is thrust into the underworld of being on the run from the authorities and the law.

 

the SUPREME ORDEAL or the BELLY OF THE WHALE or APPROACH TO THE INMOST CAVE 

At this stage the hero will have appeared to be swallowed up by the opposition forces and to the outside world the hero may appear to have died. Vogler refers to this stage as the "Approach to the Inmost Cave". In essence they are the same thing and their placement along a specific timeline is somewhat arbitrary. What matters is that before the hero achieves the SUPREME ORDEAL, there will be a moment where the hero will actually need to consolidate his or her powers because things are about to get really bad. Often, the hero will appear to actually be physically swallowed up in something much larger than he is.

In "Ghostbusters" the milestone takes place when the Ghostbusters are arrested and thrown into jail for violating EPA laws and causing an explosion in downtown New York.

 

the SUPREME ORDEAL 

The SUPREME ORDEAL is usually the central crisis in the story. (Not the climax...that comes later in Act III). In an action movie, it will be the big action set piece of the movie. The key is that there is a central theme of death and change. The hero will be submitted to death in some way or form. It could be the failure of their mission, the end of a relationship, the loss of their mentor, or facing their greatest fears. This is usually where the hero will face the Enemy for the first time in full form. Prior to this stage, the hero has been battling cronies and THRESHOLD GUARDIANS, the Enemy was not truly out to stop the hero. But now the worst the Enemy has will be thrown the hero's way. Whatever the outcome, the hero will emerge changed

 

SACRED MARRIAGE:

"Meeting with the Goddess" or "Woman as the Temptress" 

This stage is sometimes referred to "Meeting with the Goddess" or "Woman as the Temptress", these titles can sometimes be misleading since it implies the presence and participation of a female or feminine force. If the hero is a female the SACRED MARRIAGE would be with a male or masculine force. In this stage there may be an actual meeting with a goddess, or the marriage may be between the two halves of the hero in order to make him or her whole. For instance, the male hero is seeking out the anima, their inner feminine qualities, like intuition, which may have previously remained unrecognized. The female hero will be seeking the animus, the male qualities of reason and authority which she has had to suppress due to society. In either case, the hero will come out of the ordeal whole and complete for the first time in the adventure and it is in this stage that the hero will come to recognize inevitable truths regarding his situation within the scheme of things. It is also at this stage that the "goddess" will grant the hero another boon, that which Nietzsche called amor fati, the love of your fate. This is not fatalism, this is more like taking what is given to you and making the best of it.

Conan the Barbarian needs Valaria to convince the wizard to resurrect him. It is she that pays the Gods, not Subotai..

 

Temptation 

 

 

FATHER ATONEMENT:

ATONEMENT or AT-ONE-MENT with the father or father figure  

Joseph Campbell likes to emphasize the spelling of this phase, in his words, it is not simply atonement but AT-ONE-MENT, with the father or father figure. The father in Freudian terms can represent an Ogre figure. A competitive and authoritative force that wants to keep the individual from succeeding. It begins in the nursery with the father competing with the child for the mother's attention. It is why one of the most important events in an adolescent male's life is the first time he honestly is victorious over hfather at something, anything, even something as trivial as a game. The ogre aspect of the father is a mirror image and reflex of one's own ego. Therefore in the ATONEMENT with the father, one must first slay the ogre of their own superego and id. So that what is left is the ego, which must in turn also be defeated, which is difficult because it requires submission and the abandonment of one's own ego to the trust of the father. It is why, most of the time, teenage sons rebel against their fathers, only to discover when they get older that their fathers only wanted the best for them to begin with.

 

APOTHEOSIS 

APOTHEOSIS begins with the hero's recognition of the divine within himself. It is the beginning of the Hero (with a capital "H"). It is the beginning of the HERO being able to accomplish that which ordinary men and women cannot. APOTHEOSIS means 'exhaltation to divine rank or stature; deification'. The Hero becomes god like...like unto a god...in the sense that afterwards they are capable of feats and acts which surpass their old selves and other normal beings. 

 

ELIXIR THEFT 

 

ELIXIR THEFT is just what it sounds like. The Powers-that-be have something that the Hero wants or needs, and they aren't giving it up. So the Hero has to bypass all of the Powers' THRESHOLD GUARDIANS, get into the inner sanctum, and steal what he needs.

The hero will incur great wrath on the part of the enemy Powers arranged against him. And it will not go well at all if he or she is caught. Having stolen the elixir, the hero needs to take the road back to the ORDINARY WORLD as soon as he can. But the Powers will not let the Hero escape so easily, he or she will be chased all the way back.

Prometheus steals Fire from the Gods and gives it to mankind.

the RETURN 

 

 

the RETURN - 1. FLIGHT  

The Return marks the transition from Act II to Act III. The Hero is crossing back over from the special world to the ordinary world. If there is going to be a big chase sequence or fight scene, this is where it takes place

 

the RETURN 2. the ROAD BACK 

The Road Back stage is divided into four:

Return

Resurrection

Rescue from Without

Threshold Struggle

 

1. Return 

The Return marks the transition from Act II to Act III. The Hero is crossing back over from the special world to the ordinary world. (In the Greek Myth of Orpheus, he crossed back from the land of the dead back to the land of the living). If there is going to be a big chase sequence or fight scene....this is where it takes place. At this stage, which is a continuation of FLIGHT, the hero will also discover that the Enemy Powers are not entirely vanquished. This is where the Hero is going to have to ante up and finish off his opponent

 

2. Resurrection ("the rumors of my death…")  

 

3. Rescue from without 

"The rumors of my death were premature"; The Hero, believed dead, suddenly reappears, or some higher power intervenes and saves the day (Deus Ex Machina). 

When all seems lost, the Hero's friend appears and saves him. This bit also exists in almost every action Movie - Note that when the ammunition in the Hero's gun runs out, there's always someone who throws him a loaded gun at the right moment ...

 

4. Threshold Struggle

 

Threshold Struggle almost inevitably takes place. The Powers do not want to release the hero to return to the ORDINARY WORLD. And this is still very much a portion of FLIGHT. The Hero is far from home free and must battle to return. Sometimes this battle may be internal.

In a Romantic comedy it will seem that any chance of getting the girl or guy is shot. But then something will happen and everything will work out just fine.

 

REFUSAL OF THE RETURN 

The Hero enjoys the special world better than the ordinary world, and does not wish to return.

In the musical "Brigadoon", the modern man is miserable upon returning to the city and pines for the village of Brigadoon, he winds up returning to the location and his love for Bonnie Jean brings the village back so he can join them.

In the film "Raise the Titanic", after the hero goes to all the trouble of locating a rare mineral that would allow a missile proof shield to be built by the United States, and thereby destabilizing the Cold War, he decides to keep the location of the mineral a secret.

 

RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR 

 

 

Freedom to Live 

 

 

MASTER OF TWO WORLDS:
two possible endings
 

This is the end of our Saga! The RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR! Having braved numerous tests and dangers, and surmounted seemingly impossible odds, our Hero has brought back the much-needed ELIXIR back to the ORDINARY WORLD where it can do the most good. He or she is now master of both worlds and is truly a Hero (with a capital "H"), not to be trifled with in the least. This is also known as the "denouement" when any open plot points of the story resolve themselves. Our Hero can now bask in his glory and start writing his memoirs...the Hero's Journey is over.....or is it? It might be just beginning? Our hero is back in the ORDINARY WORLD after all, and there may be another ELIXIR worth getting

 

Common Mythical Elements 

 

 

The Mentor 

 

 

The Oracle 

The oracle is a term taken from Greek mythology. Its home was in Delphi and people used to come to it to seek the blessings of the gods before making any important action. The problem was that its replies were always open to more than one interpretation, and I will repeat the example of King who turned came to the oracle before a big battle and was promised that "a great kingdom will fall", but the oracle just neglected to tell him that kingdom would be his own…

 

The Prophecy 

The Hero’s journey is usually prompted by an ancient prophecy, which the Hero was chosen to fulfil.

 

The Fallen Hero 

 

 

Wearing the Enemy’s skin”  

 

 

The Shapeshifter (the Hero isn’t sure he can trust this character) 

 

 

 

 

Taking an Animal’s Form (=not Human) 

Descending into an Abyss or a cave 

This is one of the stages of the road of trials for every self-respecting mythological Hero. The cave or the abyss can also be symbolic.

 

Chasing a lone animal in an enchanted forest  

A lone animal tempts the hero into chasing it, the hero thinks the chase will be easy, but soon realizes how mistaken he is, because it usually lures him into a trap. Sometimes it even talks to him, in which case he’d better pay close attention to what it says. The way the hero treats the animal may seal his fate. He who shows kindness toward the little animal shall be well rewarded, but being cruel to it or ignoring it may result in a severe punishment (remember Moses who went after the stray lamb only to arrive at the burning bush? Or Saul who went looking for his father’s asses and became the first King of Israel?)

 

Magical Objects – Legacy of the Father Figure or a Present from the Oracle 

Every mythological Hero has at least one, sometimes more.

 

Apotheosis 

At the end of every myth, the Demigod disappears and makes way for a real live King about the two possible endings see "Master of two worlds".

 

Summary

 

Recommendation: It is best to view the Campbellian Model as a guideline, not as a binding framework...

 

See a text or a (simplified) graphic version.

For the full version click here.

 

For the presentation click here.

 

b. The Dark Lord

 

As for the Dark Lord, things are a little more complicated, but anyone who wants to a proper Dark Lord must remember the following simple quote from the unforgettable Movie "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", "If you have to shoot… shoot! Don't talk! "

 

And you don't have to look far to find examples of this – Just watch a James Bond Movie and see what trouble the writers get their villains in, and note that the villain's only desire in life is life is to kill James Bond, but alas, poor guys, they just can't seem to get the job done…

 

If you really insist on becoming a Dark Lord, please read carefully the following instructions (based, of course, on the Campbellian Model) and follow them to the letter:

 

If I know of any heroes in the land, I will not under any circumstance kill their mentors, teachers, and/or best friend

The Mentor

When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

All crones with the ability to prophesy will be given free facelifts, permanents, manicures, and Donna Karan wardrobes. That should pretty well destroy their credibility

The Oracle

Every so-called prophet will be required to deliver his prophecies in a clear and simple language that my five years old adviser will be able to understand

The Prophecy

When I try to convince the Hero to serve my as my trusted lieutenant, I will try to make sure that my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot.

The Fallen Hero

If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.

After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

If the beautiful princess suddenly decides to come to my bedchamber in the middle of the night and confess her eternal love for me, I will politely but firmly decline any offer she makes to partake of food or drink

Meeting the Goddess

 

Wearing the Enemy’s skin

If a scientist with a beautiful and undaughter refuses to work for me, I will not hold her hostage. Instead, I will offer to pay for her future wedding and her children's college tuition.

The Shapeshifter (the Hero isn’t sure he can trust this character)

I will treat any beast that I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

Taking an Animal’s Form (=not Human)

 

Descending into an Abyss or a cave

If I'm sitting in my camp, hear a twig snap, start to investigate, then encounter a small woodland creature, I will send out some scouts anyway just to be on the safe side. (If they disappear into the foliage, I will not send out another patrol; I will break out the napalm.)

Chasing a lone animal in an enchanted forest

Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.

The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object that is my one weakness.

My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords

Magical Objects – Legacy of the Father Figure or a Present from the Oracle

I will not set myself up as a god. That perilous position is reserved for my trusted lieutenant.

I will not order my trusted lieutenant to kill the infant who is destined to overthrow me; I'll do it myself.

Apotheosis

 

If you got this far, congratulations. You must really want to be a dark lord.

 

For the rest of the list click here.

http://www.proft.org/tips/evil.html

http://www.cobysev.org/overlord.html

http://www.sff.net/paradise/overlord.html#overlord

 

2. Female Heroes

 

a. A historical Overview

 

About the shift in the status of women from the suffragettes to "Rosie the Riveter"; Is this shift reflected also in Science Siction?

 

 

 

b. Are womanhood and motherhood obstacles on the Heroin's Journey?

 

On the differences between Male heroes, female Heroes and child Heroes

 

The unequivocal answer is yes. A woman wishing to become a Heroine is required is required to give up certain elements of her womanhood (from hair and garments to breasts and babies), just like the male Hero is required to be a monk.

 

c. Comparative Analysis

 

I will try to present the differences between the hero's journey to and the heroine's journey according to the Campbellian model. As we shall see, it's pretty hard to find Fantasy and Sci Fi that fit all the criteria of the model, but this comparison already shows up several facts that stand out - the "aunt and uncle" element is almost non-existent with the Heroines, and so is the chastity element; in the most cases, however, we do find the ancient prophecy or some kind of a mentor who shows up on the Heroine's doorstep of the and tells her that it's time to hit the road, For our proposes, I shall use Luke Skywalker as the representative of the Heroes and Dorothy Gale as the representative of the heroines

 

Innocent world of childhood 

Luke 

Luke is an orphan, living with caretakers who are not his true parents. While Tatoine is a desert planet, he lives a calm and protected life as a farmer.

 

Innocent world of childhood  

Dorothy 

Kansas is filmed in sepia tone.

In the book, the prairie is described as grey, as is Auntie Em. 

 

Differences  

Protected, green world Vs. grey world; imprisonment in domestic enclosures

 

SEPARATION 

Luke 

 

 

SEPARATION 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

EXIT FROM THE GARDEN

slay dragon of virginity myth

treasure: freedom

 

Call to the quest 

Luke 

 

 

Call to the quest 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

Imprisonment in Domestic Environment

 

Refusal of call

 

Luke 

Parental blocking figure, Uncle Owen, reminds Luke of familial responsibilities.

 

Refusal of call

 

Dorothy 

Ms. Gulch’s threats against Toto galvanize Dorothy, but all the adults in her life refuse to listen to her call for help.

 

Differences  

Take on the role of spiritual orphan

 

Acceptance of call 

Luke 

Luke returns to find family farm burned out by imperial storm troopers; now has no reason to stay.

 

Acceptance of call 

Dorothy 

After Toto escapes Gulch, Dorothy runs away, but is persuaded to return home, only to be swept up by the tornado

 

Differences  

Guides seen as captors; Shattering the Mirror: recognize guides as captors;

take on role of spiritual orphan

 

Supernatural Aid: guide, mentor 

Luke 

Obi Wan Kenobi (Merlin figure)

 

Supernatural Aid: guide, mentor

 

Dorothy 

None of the farm hands will help

Dorothy's Guide is Glinda, but she disappears almost immediately

 

Differences  

 

 

Weapons 

Luke 

father's light saber

 

Weapons

 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

 

 

Maps 

Luke 

Design of Death Star carried by R2D2

 

Maps 

Dorothy 

The yellow brick road

 

Differences  

 

 

Talisman 

Luke 

 

 

Talisman 

Dorothy 

The ruby slippers

 

Differences  

 

 

Crossing the first threshold 

Luke 

leaving Tantooine

 

Crossing the Threshold

 

Dorothy 

Landing in Oz ; The house lands on the Wicked Witch of the West; Dorothy's first heroic act is an accident.

 

Differences  

Another Universe

The Fortunate Fall (Green World); For the female hero, just beginning the quest is a victory; taking this first step often involves entering a new, greener, more alive world Slay dragon of virginity myth; Treasure = freedom

 

The Inn on the Border 

Luke 

The bar with its chaotic assembly of aliens serves as a passage to the dangerous world Luke is about to enter. Obi Wan and Han each slay an alien, and Obi Wan also distracts imperial storm troopers so that the way is clear for Luke who cannot yet fight his own battles.

 

The Inn on the Border

 

Dorothy 

Munckhinland is the gateway, introduction to Oz. The final threshold is stepping onto the yellow brick road.

 

Differences  

 

 

Entering the Belly of the Whale 

Luke 

The Millenium Falcon is drawn into the Death Star by tractor beam.

 

Entering the Belly of the Whale 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

Released from captor(s)

 

 

 

Luke 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

Female hero often encounters a companion who appears to be a guide, but winds up re-imprisoning her

slay dragon of romantic love;

discover qualities she needs are within her

treasure: wholeness, autonomy

 

Gathering Companions 

Luke 

R2D2 & 3CPO, the loyal servants; Han Solo, the older brother/buddy with the self-confidence Luke lacks. Han has his own other companion, Chewbacca: Tonto, Sancho Panza, Jim to Hans' Huck.

 

Gathering Companions

 

Dorothy 

The Lion, Tinman, and Scarecrow are Dorothy's companions; each represents qualities she needs to be a hero.

 

Differences  

 

 

Road of Trials: Tests and Ordeals 

Luke 

 

 

Road of Trials: Tests and Ordeals 

Dorothy 

Road of Trials is yellow brick road, and also Wizard's test: to get broomstick

 

Differences  

Rape trauma - Green World Lover - Recognize the seducer - Dark Man Vs. Light Man - Imprisoned in Domestic Enclosure - Journey through underworld - Slay dragon of romantic love myth

 

Brother Battle

 

Luke 

In second film, Luke fights Darth Vader in a dream; when he takes off Vader’s helmet, find his own face ("We have seen the enemy and they are us").

 

Brother Battle

 

Dorothy 

Female hero often has to choose between two men, one of whom will re-imprison her in domestic enclosures.

 

Differences  

The light man and the dark man

 

Abduction 

Luke 

 

 

Abduction 

Dorothy 

being flown to castle by monkeys

 

Differences  

 

 

Night sea journey 

Luke 

Fall into trash compactor

 

Night sea journey 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

 

 

 

 

Luke 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

 

 

Dragon Battle 

Luke 

 

 

Dragon Battle

 

Dorothy 

Dragon Battle

 

Differences  

 

 

Nadir: symbolic death/ dismemberment 

Luke 

Trash compactor squeezing shut; Obi Wan’s real death Dismemberment is suffered by 3CPO

 

Nadir: symbolic death/dismemberment 

Dorothy 

Running of sand through hourglass

Witch is killed with water - symbol of fertility

Scarecrow suffers dismemberment

 

Differences  

 

 

Sacred Marriage 

Luke 

Luke saves Leia. Leia marries Han:

 

Sacred Marriage 

Dorothy 

Discovery of the Mother

 

Differences  

A woman is her own mother.

 

Temptation away from the true path 

Luke 

 

 

Temptation away from the true path 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

Tempted to return to the beginning without finishing the quest

 

Atonement to/ recognition by father 

Luke 

Obi-Wan returns as internal voice

 

Atonement to/ recognition by father 

Dorothy 

Return to Emerald City with broom

Wizard turns out to be a sham

 

Differences  

Atonement to/ recognition by father Vs. Return to ancestral home to find father;

Failure of False Father

 

Apotheosis/ recognition as hero as hero 

Luke 

 

 

Apotheosis/ recognition as hero as hero 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

Slay dragon of female inferiority

 

Granting of Ultimate Boon 

Luke 

Luke is accepted as fighter by rebel forces

 

Granting of Ultimate Boon 

Dorothy 

Recognition of qualities of companions: Scarecrow gets diploma; Lion medal; Tinman testimonial.

Wizard offers return in balloon

 

Differences  

Discovers the qualities she needs are within her

 

RETURN 

Luke 

 

 

RETURN 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

A WOMAN IS HER OWN MOTHER

Journey to ancestral home to find father; discovers unity with mother instead

Slay dragon of female inferiority

Treasure: female tradition

 

Refusal of return

 

Luke 

Han refuses to fight

 

Refusal of Return 

Dorothy 

Toto jumps out of balloon; Dorothy too

 

Differences  

 

 

Magic Flight 

Luke 

Luke’s passes over Death Star

 

 

 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

 

 

Rescue from without  

Luke 

Han’s return to save Luke, and Obi Wan's presence

 

Rescue from without  

Dorothy 

Glinda comes back and reveals power of slippers

 

Differences  

Rescue by Heroic Mother

 

Crossing Return Threshold 

Luke 

Leaving the exploding Death Star

 

Crossing Return Threshold 

Dorothy 

Dorothy clicks slippers and returns to Kansas

 

Differences  

Reconciliation with parents

 

Master of Two Worlds 

Luke 

Luke and Han receive medals and accolades from rebel community

 

Master of Two Worlds 

Dorothy 

Back in real (sepia) world of Kansas, Dorothy find new life and love (new barn, milking cows; Auntie Em and farm hands all love her)

 

Differences  

Reconciliation with Parents

The New Family

A Community of One

Rebirth of Creativity

The World Transformed

 

Freedom to Live 

Luke 

 

 

Freedom to Live 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

New Family; Community of One

 

Common Mythic  

Luke 

 

 

Common Mythic Elements 

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

 

 

Two Worlds (mundane and special)  

Luke 

 

 

Two Worlds (mundane and special)  

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

Woman's World Vs. Man's World; Domestic World Vs. Outside World

 

The Mentor  

Luke 

 

 

The Mentor  

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

Can be seen as captor

 

The Prophecy  

Luke 

 

 

The Prophecy  

Dorothy 

 

 

Differences  

 

 

d. How to become a Campbellian Mythological Heroine

 

So what are the main qualities required from a woman who wishes to become a Sci Fi and Fantasy heroine according to the Campbellian model, and why is it so hard to find heroines who meet all the criteria? The answers may be found in a simple analysis of several heroines, according to the following criteria:

 

1. Is she Self-Sufficient?

 

2. Could the Role be played by a Man?

 

3. Did she go all the way?

 

4. Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?

 

5. End of the Road?

 

"the Bride" (Uma Thurman, Kill Bill 1+2)  

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

Yes

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Lost her daughter and found her again (can that be considered fulfillment as a woman?)

 

End of the Road?  

Retired to a life of leisure (the "grey world") with her daughter.

Not quite Sci Fi, but definitely containing many elements of fantasy and Chinese (the massacre at the Shaolin Temple, the character of Bill which was apparently borrowed from "Kung Fu", including the flute - the role stolen from Bruce Lee) and Japanese (the Swords maker and the Master) mythology.

 

Abernathy, Alice (Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

Yes

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

No

 

End of the Road?  

Well, as long as they keep making new Movies in the series (four so far, a fifth is due in 2012, all of them starring Milla Jovovich), I guess we’ll never know…

 

Arroway, Ellie (Jodi Foster, Contact) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

In the book, the idea was that Ellie was a misdiagnosed prodigy who developed a special connection with her father. It could have easily been a boy.

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Both the man she loved and her boss/mentor betrayed her (one was justly punished and the other won her heart).

 

End of the Road?  

After the journey she returns to the starting point ("the grey world") – educating children at the observatory.

 

Carter, Samantha Major and later Colonel (Amanda Tapping, Stargate SG1)  

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Both an excelling soldier and a gifted scientist, if she chooses she might have a chance; Unable to have children

 

End of the Road?  

Her career seemingly depends on giving up all hope for a relationship with O'Neill and her ability to handle herself on her own. There were hints throughout the ninth season, but they were misleading…

 

Connor, Sarah (Linda Hamilton, Terminator, not Lena Headey from the series) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Always the Savior's Mother, never the Savior. In spite of her obvious fighting and survival skills, the only reason for her existence is being "the Mother of…"

 

End of the Road?  

According to the second movie, she passed away right before the war and never actually took part in it – an elegant way of getting her out of the picture (or perhaps Linda Hamilton didn't want to come back for the third movie…) As for the TV series, of course, this if an entirely different story, not to mention the fourth Movie.

 

Everdeen, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

Yes

 

Did she go all the way? 

Yes

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Married Peeta and gave birth to two children.

 

End of the Road?  

At the end of the third book, Katniss realizes that she loves Peeta, not Gale. They marry, give birth to two children, and if they are still alive, then they live happily ever after …

 

Ivanova, Susan (Claudia Christian, "Babylon 5") 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

What about the Lesbian innuendo?

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Haa failed love affair with telepath Talia Winters, rejected Marcus Cole's advances

 

End of the Road?  

Retired to Minbar (the grey world) to take command over the Rangers, can have close non-sexual relationships with men, cannot have the only man she wants.

 

Kira, Neris (Nana Visitor, DS9) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

Perhaps

 

Did she go all the way? 

NO

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Had to carry another woman's baby for a short while, her beloved Odo left her

 

End of the Road?  

Got stuck with the Station, and basically, as a "King of flesh and blood". Perhaps if there was a follow up story…

 

Max (Jessica Alba, Dark Angel) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

UK

 

End of the Road?  

Not human (belongs to the category of the robot seeking his lost humanity)

 

Nikita (La Femme Nikita – Anne Parillaud, the original Nikita, not Bridget Fonda from the American version or Peta Wilson from the TV series)  

Is she Self Sufficient? 

?

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

?

 

Did she go all the way? 

?

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

?

 

End of the Road?  

Gave up love for freedom

 

O'Neill, Lt. Jordan (Demi Moore, G I Jane) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

Yes

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Disguising herself as man and renouncing her femininity (the ritual shaving of the head); The brutal (yet devoid of any sexuality) rape; The relationship with the female Senator who sold her out

 

End of the Road?  

Not a Sci Fi movie (well, if only they had ended it at the right moment…)

 

Pezzini, Sarah (Yancy Butler, Witchblade) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

?

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

See the legend of Concobar and Cathain, which was apparently invented for the series, but is based on an existing Irish myth. Every man who falls in love with her is murdered, and therefore she has no chance of fulfilling herself as a woman.

 

End of the Road?  

Was stuck with the Witchblade, her fate is unclear

 

Ripley, Ellen 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

Imagine Schwarzenegger…

 

Did she go all the way? 

Yes

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Adopted Newt and the Robot, had to "abort" her monster child ("I'm the monster's mother")

 

End of the Road?  

Returned to a life of anonymity on Earth

 

Scully, Dana (Jillian Anderson, the X-Files)  

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Gave birth to two children, Emily and William. Emily died and William was given up for adoption in order to save his life.

 

End of the Road?  

Definitely a contender, but her existence is inseparable from Mulder's. According to the movies, she gave up the FBI for a career in medicine (return to the grey world).

 

Solo, Leia Oregana (Carrie Fisher, Star Wars) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Married Han and gave birth to 3 children (and no, they did not live happily ever after).

 

End of the Road?  

Close but no cigar... was a great warrior in the resistance movement, but her fate after the victory is unclear (return to the grey world).

 

Starling, Clarice (Jodi Foster, the Silence of the Lambs) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

Not only is she a woman, she is also small (see the elevator scene in the movie)

 

Did she go all the way? 

Yes

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

UK

 

End of the Road?  

The Matriarch of all female FBI agents, blazed the trail for Profiler's Samantha Waters and the X-Files's Dana Scully. It is unclear whether she has completed the journey, but she came very close.

 

Summers, Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Kristy Swanson from the Movie, not Sarah Michelle Gellar from the TV series) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

No

 

Did she go all the way? 

Yes

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

UK

 

End of the Road?  

In the movie definitely, in the TV series not so much

 

Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss, the Matrix) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

No

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

Why not?

 

Did she go all the way? 

Almost

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

No

 

End of the Ro?  

The whole point of her existence is to be a sidekick for the One, and she plays that role till the very moment of her death.

 

Xena (Lucy Lawless, Xena the warrior Princess) 

Is she Self Sufficient? 

Yes

 

Could the Role be played by a Man?  

"Xenon the Warrior Prince"?

 

Did she go all the way? 

No

 

Did She Fulfill Herself as a Woman?  

Lost her son, gave birth to a daughter of the "Dark Forces" but the daughter was saved and reunited with her mother

 

End of the Road?  

Perhaps if she was a "real" mythological heroine…

 

Summary  

 

 

For a short PowerPoint presentation click here.

 

3. Child Heroes

 

Like every mythological hero, the child also starts his Hero's journey in the "ordinary" life, i.e. in ignorant bliss or under oppression and depression. But a sense of need or curiosity (a natural quality of children) is usually the first catalyst on the road to the adventure (see the mythological element of "chasing a lone animal into a magical forest").

 

The definitions

 

1. Child 

Aged 6-16 (at 17 he is already a Crown Prince, which is an entirely different story).

 

2. Hero 

Goes on the quest alone, unassisted (and sometimes blocked) by grown-ups (except for the good or bad Witch or Wizard).

 

3. Adventure 

The quest (single or multiple entries into the world of adventure);

Can the child enter and exit the world of adventure at will (i.e., to remain anchored in the "real" world) and a child who is "stuck" there (and disconnected from the "real" world) until the end of the adventure?

The difference between an adventure starting and ending in childhood and adventure which our hero starts as a child but ends as an adult,

Adventure destined to be a preparation to the role that the child will play as an adult

 

4. Home 

There are problems at home – becoming an orphan, divorce, moving, etc'. Those children start out not living in their natural family, but being raised by surrogate parents, usually an Aunt and an Uncle (for some reason, this is an essential part of the Hero's journey). The basic assumption is that children can't live without parents and therefore substitutes for them must be found at all costs.

 

5. School 

An inseparable part of the life of every child, Hero or not; Can be the location or the starting point for the adventure, or totally irrelevant to it.

Some notable schools are of course Harry Potter's Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry and Ender Wiggin's Earth Battle School). Are they really that different from each other, or from every other school of their kind, including the "ordinary" school Ender went to (and where he was bullied and harassed by the other children) before he was taken to Battle School, or the "ordinary" school Harry Potter attended before he was taken Hogwarts (about which, by the way, we know nothing)? These are the schools that produced the best politicians and leaders of mankind, but also the best known spies and the traitors in the history of wars (Philby, Burgess and McLean, all apparently graduates of the House of Slytherin…)

 

Hogwarts  

Description: 

Vocational Boarding School

Mixed, Equal Opportunity – No discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, faith or race school

 

Starting age: 

10-11

 

Teachers: 

Mostly wise old men (and women) who teach by personal example (for good and for bad)

 

Duration of studies: 

7 years (Junior and Senior High?)

 

Values installed: 

Being a better person and wizard, companionship, friendship, loyalty, honor and honesty (and victory at any cost)

 

Extra Curricular Activity: 

Plenty – outings, sporting events, meetings with students from

 

Vacations: 

holidays, terms, summer 

 

DS9 School 

Description: 

Keiko opens the DS 9 school in the 1st season episode”A Man Alone". It would remain open until the 3rd season episode "The House of Quark", where it would be closed due to a lack of students.

The DS9 School, incidentally, is apparently a perfectly ordinary school, even somewhat outdated. Is that really what the education system will look like in the not so distant future?

 

Starting age: 

 

 

Teachers: 

 

 

Duration of studies: 

 

 

Values installed: 

 

 

Extra Curricular Activity: 

 

 

Vacations: 

 

 

Starfleet Academy 

Description: 

Wesley Crusher: Growing up on the Enterprise as Captain Picard's protege, Wesley Crusher seemed destined to graduate from Starfleet Academy at the top of his class. But after he participated in a dangerous flying stunt that resulted in the death of a fellow cadet, Wesley lost much of his youthful enthusiasm for the elite officers' academy. It wasn't until he met the Traveler, though, that it occurred to Wesley that he could forge his own path. After all, while graduating from Starfleet Academy is a sure ticket to space exploration, the Traveler can really take you where no one has gone before. Perhaps he did ultimately return to the Academy, since he showed up to Riker and Troi's wedding in a lieutenant's uniform. Then again, Starfleet realized that his practical experience was far more valuable than a formal education.

 

Starting age: 

 

 

Teachers: 

 

 

Duration of studies: 

 

 

Values installed: 

 

 

Extra Curricular Activity: 

 

 

Vacations: 

 

 

Battle School  

Description: 

Vocational Boarding school Mixed, mostly boys

 

Starting age: 

6

 

Teachers: 

Mostly Virtual (remote learning)

 

Duration of studies: 

No limit

 

Values installed: 

Victory an any cost, individualism

 

Extra Curricular Activity: 

Hardly any

 

Vacations: 

Once in 3 years (?)

 

6. Interaction with adults: 

Adults can be: 1. Non-existent;

 

The child is independent of the adults and can therefore set out on the quest unhindered.

 

2. An obstacle or even an enemy (see THRESHOLD GUARDIANS, assassins sent by the evil overlord, wizards and witches either trying to fulfill a prophecy or to prevent its fulfillment, or just evil relatives coveting the inheritance)

 

3. Helpful and supportive, role models

(See mentors, good fairies and witches, an uncle or another adoptive parent who shields and protects the child)

 

Can the child move in and out of the adventure world at will (i.e., remain anchored in the "real world") or is he stuck there (and disconnected from the "real world") until the adventure is over?

 

The place of the child in society - a historical review

 

Most children's books (even those featuring children as their heroes) were not originally written as children's books.

 

a. The Victorian Era

 

“Children should be seen but not heard”

 

b. Between the wars

 

The war outside vs. the war inside (which the forces of good always win) - the relationship between the world outside and the world inside;

The evacuation in World War 2 as a traumatic event; the trauma was twofold – separation from the parents on the one hand, and on the other hand, a welcome into the adoptive homes which was not always exactly warm and endearing; 

The little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1943

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, born to a French aristocratic family, was an avid pilot from youth. As a civilian, he was a pioneer of the air mail service, and even was appointed as the director Argentina's air mail service. During World War II he served as a combat pilot. In spite of his relatively advanced age (he was born in 1900), he agreed on 31.7.1944 to go on a last mission of gathering information about German troop movements in the Rhone Valley, after which he disappeared. Some attributed his disappearance the same importance as to the disappearance of famed female pilot Amelia Earhart. In 2000 the story made headlines again after it was reported that the remains of his plane were found in the sea off the coast of Marseille, but the mystery of the crash has never been solved.

The Little Prince lives on a small asteroid with three volcanoes (two active ones and an extinct one) and one rose he is very attached to. He devotes his time to the cultivation of his humble home – raking volcano craters and rooting out baobabs, which jeopardize his little star. One day, after a quarrel with the spoiled rose, he leaves his star and goes travelling. He goes through from asteroid to asteroid, and on every asteroid he meets adults who are fools in their own way, including a king who thinks he rules the stars, an arrogant mad who craves admiration but lives alone, a drunkard who drinks to forget the shame of drinking, a businessman who counts stars under the illusion that they belong to him, a lamplighter devoted to his Sisyphean labor, and a geographer who devotes his life to writing maps, but never leaves his desk. On the recommendation of geographer, the Prince comes to Earth, where he faces a bitter disillusionment - his rose is not as unique as he thought, and the only thing that distinguishes it is his love for it. This is the beginning of the loss of innocence, which is also the beginning of the end ...

The Prince meets adults on Earth too, just as foolish and incomprehensible - The train conductor who groups people in thousands to transport them from place to place, and a merchant who sells tablets saving 53 minuteper week of the time devoted to drinking water. Then he meets the storyteller, and ask him to draw him a sheep. After many failed attempts, one adult finally passes the Little Prince’s acceptance test with flying colors... After several days during which the storyteller is busy repairing his plane and searching for a source of water, the little prince meets a snake that claims it has the power to send the Prince home. After deliberation, the Prince allows the snake to bite him, and disappeares without a trace.

In the Little Princess we have an encounter of two - an adult who has not lost the ability to see the world through the eyes of a child, and the Little Prince, the ageless, nameless child who will never grow up, the child who might be hidden inside every one of us.

Was the encounter with the Little Prince noting but a mirage of a man lost in the desert, as the voice of reason would allegedly say, or was it real? You never know. As usual in such cases, we have no evidence one way or another. By the way - it is entirely unclear how exactly the Little Prince went on his journeys, and how he traveled from world to world. It probably does not matter.

Undoubtedly this is also a form of social criticism - every story of the Little Prince puts a crooked mirror in the face of society.

 

c. The modern era and the influence of the changes in the place of women on the place of children in society

 

The changes in the status of women affect the place and the role of children in society

 

1. Singles (boys or girls)
 

Harry Potter

Andrew Ender Wiggin

Coraline Jones

Eragon

Wendy Darling

Dorothy Gale

Alice **last name**

Artemis Fowl

Lyra Belacqua

Percy Jackson

 

2. Groups
 

a. The whole exceeds the sum of its parts  

Stories about Parties of youngsters setting out to save the world are very common in Fantasy literature. One type of such a Party is one in which is difficult to remember each child’s name and individual accomplishments, and the individual can at best be a first among equals temporarily (or by virtue of being the eldest, purely by coincidence. 

Jared, Simon (twins) and Mallory Grace

Carrie, Charles and Paul Rawlins

Jane and Michael Banks

Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie

Robert, Anthea, Jane, Cyril and Baby Hilary **last name**

 

b. Uniqueness and personality  

A group in which each child has a unique and distinct personality and each child can lead the group in turn (and does so with considerable success)

 

Harry Potter 

Hermione is an outstanding witch, Ron is an outstanding chess player (a skill that got Harry into the room where the Philosophers’ Stone was hidden – and note that Ron is only a few months older than Harry) and later became an excelling Quidditch player, etc’. Even little Ginny conducts herself with excellence; They each have at least one moment in which they assumes leadership and rescue their friends, though of course Harry's position as the leader of the pack is never undermined for a moment, and of course he is the one appointed as DADA teacher and commander of Dumbledore’s Army. 

For a short Powerpoint presentation click here.

 

d. As seen on TV and in the Movies

 

TV Examples 

Star Trek

 

In TNG, Wesley Crusher grows up from a small child, a rather pushy and annoying one at that, to a Strafleet Academy cadet; 

In DS9 there are two relatively central characters than can be defined as children, and due to the length of the series we see them growing up before our eyes. Interestingly enough, none of them followed their father's footsteps - Nog joined Starfleet (to the dismay of his family) and Jake aspires for a career as a journalist and a writer (with his father’s blessing)…


Keiko and Miles O'Brien also have two children, but it is difficult to define them as heroes or even as central characters (if you ignore the short period that Kira had to carry Keiko's baby in her wo). To the best of my recollection, there was only one episode in which the girl, Molly, had a significant role (episode 146, Time’s Orphan). 

Movie examples  

E. T.

 

The little boy is the leader of the party struggling to save the Alien and even his older brother obeys his every command (the “control of the magical object” element is evident here too).  

The Sixth Sense

 

AI

 

These are two of the most important Sci Fi Movies, both staring the same cute blond boy, Haley Joel Osmont. Would he have been able to play, for example, the role of Ender, were he in the right age?

 

In Australia 

In Australia there is probably "assembly line" special series of science fiction which featured children and adolescents, individuals, units and groups, from the series legendary of them all, "Lost Islands", and see, among other things, "the girl tomorrow," "Escape from Jupiter", "back Jupiter ", Spellbinder," three legs "," a foot in the galaxy "," boy Andromeda "(New Zealand, close) and many more. They all, incidentally, were shown here at some point. The latest example, and most obvious is the series" The Tribe " We aired in recent years, with a degree in post-apocalyptic future where all adults and children were exterminated were left alone. Here they took all the older pre-image (see "Lord of the Flies" by Golding).

For a short PowerPoint presentation click here.

4. Mythological Heroes (or not…)

 

Before we move on to the list of the Heroes to whom the Campbellian Model can be applied, I would to raise one more point. There is a kind of a Hero, not exactly a mythological, but definitely "bigger than life". I am referring to the action Heroes such as John MacLean (Bruce Willis, "Die hard", 4 Movies No. 5 on the way), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, "Mission Impossible", 4 Movies), Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson, "Lethal Weapon", 4 Movies), Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, 4 Movies), Jason Bourne (4 Movies, three of which starring Matt Damon), and perhaps the biggest of them all, “Dirty” Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry, 5 Movies) etc'.

For example, could the Campbellian Model of the mythological Hero be applied to James Bond (countless actors, countless Movies)?

The problem is, at least in the case of James Bond, that somewhere along the way something got lost - the continuity, the flow, and mainly the connection with the original characters created by Ian Fleming, which becomes more and more councidental as new Movies are added to the list, until all that remained is the name, and we are left with the impression that if the Hero was called by any other name, no one would have noticed the difference…

For example, like Indiana Jones in the end of the fourth Movie, and somewhat differently, Martin Riggs in the of the fourth Movie, but note that this in itself does not preclude the Hero's return to a fifth or sixth Movie…) because as we speak, the first reports that Harrison Ford will be back for a fifth Indiana Jones Movie are coming out, don't say I didn't warn you…
 

The Action Heroes

 

John MacLean

 

"Die hard",  Bruce Willis

 

5 Movies,

 

Die Hard (1988)

 

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

 

Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

 

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

 

Die Hard 2 (1990)

 

Ethan Hunt

 

"Mission Impossible", Tom Cruise

 

6 Movies,

 

Mission: Impossible (1996)

 

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

 

Mission: Impossible 5 - Rogue Nation (2015) 

 

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

 

Mission: Impossible 3 (2006) 

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

 

 

Martin Riggs

 

"Lethal Weapon", Mel Gibson

 

4 Movies

 

Marries his love

 

Lethal Weapon (1987) 

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

 

Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

 

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

 

 

Jason Bourne

 

Matt Damon

 

5 Movies, four of which starring him

 

Lives on the run ("return to the gray world”?)

 

A miniseries based on the first novel in 1988, starring Richard Chamberlain and Jacqueline Smith  

 

The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourn Legacy (2012) 

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

 

Jason Bourne (2016)

 

 

Jack Ryan

 

Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine

 

5 Movies

 

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

 

The Sum of All Fears (2002)

 

Clear and Present Danger (1994)

 

Patriot Games (1992) 

 

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

 

Dirty” Harry Callahan

 

Dirty Harry”,  Clint Eastwood,

 

5 Movies

 

Dirty Harry (1971)

 

Magnum Force (1973) 

The Dead Pool (1988) 

Sudden Impact (1983) 

The Enforcer (1976) 

 

Indiana Jones

 

Harrison Ford

 

5 (?) Movies

 

Marries his love (which in itself does not preclude the Hero's return to a fifth or sixth Movie, because as we speak, the first reports that Harrison Ford will be back for a fifth Indiana Jones Movie are coming out, don't say I didn't warn you…)

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

 

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

 

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

 

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

 

Untitled Indiana Jones Project (2020)

 

 

James Bond

 

Countless actors

 

If the series had ended with George Lazenby and Bond would have been allowed to ride into the sunset with his new bride - 

 

The problem is, at least in the case of James Bond, that somewhere along the way something got lost - the continuity, the flow, and mainly the connection with the original characters created by Ian Fleming, which becomes more and more councidental as new Movies are added to the list, until all that remained is the name, and we are left with the impression that if the Hero was called by any other name, no one would have noticed the difference…

 

Countless Movies

 

The Comics Heroes

 

And what about the comics heroes who moved on to the big screen? Can they be considered mythological Heroes according to the Campbellian model?

The process of transforming comic book heroes into real live characters is by no means an easy one. Why? It would appear that comic books and animation Movies are the perfect medium for Science Fiction and Fantasy stories, but my personal theory is that such a Movie made without tailor-making the story to fit real live actors is doomed to failure, at least more than a story designed in advance to fit real live actors; This is also true in opposite cases of creating a comic book or an animation Movie series based on a character which has already been portrayed by a real live actor. This is because a character, which was two-dimensional on paper, will not suddenly transform into a three-dimensional one just because it is portrayed by a real live actor.

Many attempts to transfer comic book heroes to the big screen were met with a rather cool reception - see "Daredevil", "The Hulk", and even "V for Vendetta", which was actually a pretty good Movie. "Spider-Man" shuffled through (though No. 4 is already behind as), and the cinematic story arcs of Batman and Superman have no sequels, just prequels (the new Movies in both franchises deal with earlier periods in the Heroes' lives, which is moving backward rather than forward. Why? Superman was given two television series of his own). The unfortunate accident of Christopher Reeve (who passed away in 2004) did not help any. But in spite of all that, we are more than likely to see more comic book Heroes in human form.

Let me just note that quite a few known actors began their careers in such Movies, including the famed Bruce Lee, who lost the part in Kung Fu to the late David Carradine, but did star in theGreen Hornet, which I believe was his first English-speaking role. In this context, note the following text given by director Quentin Tarantino to Bill, the Hero of "Kill Bill" (portrayed by the above-mentioned David Carradine):

“An essential characteristic of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero, and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When he wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic that Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman.When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses, the business suit, that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race. Sort of like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plympton.

As you know, l'm quite keen on comic books. Especially the ones about superheroes. I find the whole mythology surrounding superheroes fascinating. Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology... The mythology is not only great, it's unique. Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit - that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He's weak... he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race. Sorta like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plimpton.”

Another problem that all the characters I mentioned have in common is that theirstories simply never end, which is one of the prerequisites of the Model, as indicated by the following attempt to sort out the story arc of the cinematic Batman(and other comics heroes) in chronological order (more or less) of the Movies, which does not necessarily correspond to the chronological order of events.

 

Character

 

Batman

 

The creators

 

Bob Kane

 

The Actors

 

4 actors

 

Christian Bale has donned the cloak and mask for the third time

 

How many Movies (currently)

 

6

 

Family Background

 

An ordinary human child, raised by a faithful servant after his parents were murdered

 

Ordinary life

 

Bruce Wayne, a reclusive millionaire

 

Age at the transition

 

The day his parents were murdered.

 

Physical characteristics

 

Depending on the Actor

 

Special skills

 

Intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation

 

Special aids

 

The Batmobile, body armor

 

Sworn enemy

 

The Joker

 

The Love interest

 

Vicki Vale reporter (?)

 

Vulnerabilities

 

A photograph of his parents

 

Defeats

 

Critically injured by Bane

 

Most popular and best-known comic book character?

 

Among the first five

 

So who will kick ass (in a fair fight, of course)? You be the judge…

And when will Neil Gaiman's Sandman become a real live Hero?

Here is the list of the Heroes. Did I succeed in applying the Model to them? You be the judge. 

 

the Bride (Kill Bill, I+II)

Alice ** Last name** (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

Andrew Ender Wiggin (the Ender Quadrology)

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl)

Benjamin Lafayette Sisko (ST-DS9, the series)

Beowulf (the myth, the movies)

Cassandra (Greek Mytholog)

Katniss Everdeen (the Hunger Games)

Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs)

Coraline Jones (Coraline)

Dorothy Gale (the Wizard of Oz)

Ellen Ripley (the Alien Quadrology)

Eragon (Eragon)

Frodo and Bilbo Baggins (the Hobbit, LotR(

Harry Potter (the Series)

Indiana Jones (the movies, the TV series)

Jen Yu (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

Lola (Run Lola Run)

Luke and Anakin Skywalker (Star Wars, 2 Trilogies)

Lyra Belacqua (His Dark Materials)

Paul Atreides (Dune)

Roland Deschain, the gunslinger (the Dark Tower)

Thomas Anderson/Neo (the Matrix)

Wendy Darling (Peter Pan)

 

For a summary presentation click here.