Campbell Theory on How a Hero is Made Essay

Campbell Theory on How a Hero is Made Essay

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“The hero’s story has the “thousand faces” made famous by Campbell’s work, but it is still ‘‘a story’’, that is, a narrative process by which things happen to create, to shape, and to demonstrate the hero in action.”(Pharr, 54). Heroes come from nowhere, but are not luck of the draw. They are “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability”(Merriam-Webster).

Campbell’s theory of how a hero is constructed is exemplified by Rowling and Tolkien’s writing. There stories are very similar, “If you've read both Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, you can't fail to notice how much Rowling draws upon Tolkien.”(Mooney). They also, show how a hero’s journey is just what Campbell states in A Hero with a Thousand Faces. The hero’s in these stories go through each phase that demonstrate a hero. In the Magic of Harry Potter: Symbols and Heroes of Fantasy, it states “Harry Potter does follow Campbell’s pattern of the child-hero.”(242).

The first stage of a hero’s journey is the departure or call to adventure. This is when something reveals that everything is going to change, sometimes unbeknownst to that character. New relationships develop and things are yet to be explained. Harry Potter’s first sign of change is the letter from Hogwart’s signifying his introduction into the wizarding world. Other’s, however, argue that it is when Rubeus Hagrid tells Harry that he’s a wizard and explains Harry’s past. This is an important change for Harry to undergo, starting his journey against Voldemort.
Bilbo receives his call to adventure by an unexpected tea party at his own home, hosted by Gandalf. Frodo also was called to adventure by Gandalf. He was given the ring and told to destroy it. Fr...

... middle of paper ...

...nd of the hero’s journey.
In the book Heroism in the Harry Potter series, the author discusses how Harry Potter “reintroduced the literary hero to public recognition” (2). Harry Potter brought an analysis on the modern hero and how it still applies to Campbell’s theory. Tom Shippey’s book, J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, compares how Tolkien’s main characters followed Joseph Campbell’s model of a hero. Tolkien and Rowling successfully create hero’s that appeal to the masses.
The hero’s journey is essential to common literature. Sharon Black’s daughter, Sandra, said she “needs Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, and Harry Potter because she needs to be- lieve and to share her belief that the hero can emerge victorious, no matter how oppressive the uncharted darkness may be. …needs Joseph Campbell to tell her that the hero is indeed “God’s son”” (Black, 245)

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