Cinema has been producing the same hero narrative for centuries. Hero films follow a ten-step sequence to properly set up and execute their story. These movies range from stories of transformations, searches, or a journey back home. Archetypes help to add variety and depth to these stories. Ridley Scott directed Alien, in which Ellen Ripley embarks on a journey where she must survive an alien who is out on a murderous rampage. Alien adds originality to its storyline by choosing a female lead instead of a male, but it still incorporates the same heroic attributes that make a story successful. In this “going home journey” film, Scott is able to incorporate the hero myth and archetypes towards the official hero Ellen Ripley. In the opening scenes of Alien, we are taken on a five-minute tour of the Nostromo spacecraft. This sequence introduces and invites the audience into the astronaut’s ordinary world. We see the nooks and crannies of …show more content…
Ripley is now the last person standing on the Nostromo, and it is up to her to kill the alien, so she can return back to Earth. After Ripley believes she successfully blew up the Nostromo and is on her way back to Earth, she discovers the alien is on the shuttle with her, leading us to step nine in the hero’s journey: the chase scene. The ninth step, “is the point where the devil chases the hero has the last obstacle to overcome before really being safe and free” (Seger, 338). With quick thinking, Ripley jumps into a space suit, straps herself into a seat and opens the shuttle’s airlock, forcing the alien out into space. However, the alien is shown to be clinging on to the ship. When it tries to re-enter through the engine, Ripley switches on the engine, killing the alien instantly. With the alien destroyed and earth safe, Ripley finishes the hero’s journey by going into hypersleep, hoping her shuttle will return back to
Throughout literature, there is a prevalent model found in various narratives that ensures its success. This archetype, called the “journey of the hero,” discovered by Joseph Campbell, serves as a guideline of three stages for authors to manipulate to their own desire. The departure, the initiation, and the return essentially create the same storyline, yet these formats can be molded into unique and refreshing works of art. Aspects of the “journey of the hero” in the movie Shrek 2 are highlighted as the main hero, Shrek, and his wife Princess Fiona depart from their accustomed residence, the swamp, rediscover the meaning of true love through peril, and return with Shrek being able to balance his identity between an ogre and royalty.
To fully appreciate the significance of the plot one must fully understand the heroic journey. Joseph Campbell identified the stages of the heroic journey and explains how the movie adheres meticulously to these steps. For example, the first stage of the hero’s journey is the ordinary world (Campbell). At the beginning, the structure dictates that the author should portray the protagonist in their ordinary world, surrounded by ordinary things and doing ordinary tasks so that the author might introduce the reasons that the hero needs the journey in order to develop his or her character or improve his or her life (Vogler 35). The point of this portrayal is to show the audience what the protagonist’s life is currently like and to show what areas of his or her life are conflicted or incomplete. When the call to adventure occurs, the protagonist is swept away into another world, one that is full of adventure, danger, and opportunities to learn what needs to be learned. T...
In movies, novels, and life, people are named as heroes. The heroes we establish and the heroes we recognize, however, may not meet the criteria for a mythic hero. A mythic hero ventures forth on his journey, and comes forth from the hero’s path to greatness. Joseph Campbell, a mythologist who studied many of the great human myths and religious tales, realized, in studying these myths and tales, that there were certain steps that every hero went through. Campbell called this “The Hero’s Journey”; it is based on Carl Jung's idea that all human beings have an archetype. After Campbell studied a lot of the great myths and realized this pattern, he published his findings in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Ever since then, authors have used “The Hero’s Journey” as an outline to tell their stories. “It is important to note that not all of these individual steps are present in every hero’s tale, nor is it important that they be in this exact order” (Vogler 20). The Hero with a Thousand Faces gives a sense of significance as it looks into the inner mind and soul. The author, Joseph Campbell, performs two extraordinary accomplishments: compelling his readers that myth and dream, those are the most effective and everlasting forces in life and a unification of mythology and psychoanalysis with a gripping narrative. One well-known example of “The Hero’s Journey” from popular culture is the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling. In the novel, Harry Potter, the main character, is the chosen one and “The Hero’s Journey” applies to his life from the moment he is attacked by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named as a baby.
In the first paragraph of Laurie Penny’s essay “What to do when you’re not the hero anymore” she tells the reader how she recently went to see the new Star Wars movie. To her surprise a female character, Rey, fought off a bad guy as an equal. Hollywood has incredible power in how messages are portrayed in books, TV shows, and movies. It is no secret that media representation normalizes the reality of white male power. Penny explores how it is becoming more common to see a women lead in books, movies, and TV shows, rather than the stereotypical male.
The 1995 hit film Waterworld is a prime example of archetypes appearing in modern motion pictures. The movie displays three main characteristics that give it archetypal meaning. The first of these is the classic hero archetype. Secondly, many archetypal elements of nature are displayed. Lastly, many other archetypes such as safety, extremes, and topography appear in the film.
In “The Thematic Paradigm,” Robert Ray explains how there are two vastly different heroes: the outlaw hero and the official hero. The official hero has common values and traditional beliefs. The outlaw hero has a clear view of right and wrong but unlike the official hero, works above the law. Ray explains how the role of an outlaw hero has many traits. The morals of these heroes can be compared clearly. Films that contain official heroes and outlaw heroes are effective because they promise viewer’s strength, power, intelligence, and authority whether you are above the law or below it.
"The Devil and Tom Walker" is a short story by Washington Irving that many wonder about. It teaches a lesson and has many archetypes in the characters. In literature, an archetype is a typical character, a type of action, or a situation that leads to the representation of such universal patterns of human nature. An archetype may be a character, a theme, a symbol or it can even be a setting. Tom walker is the protagonist of the story he is the main character.
In 1979 an alien was born. Before 1979 the movie "Star Wars" showed the vastness of space where men and women fought among themselves for control of the universe. The aliens that were present in such movies were nothing more than secondary actors. These types of aliens were never truly frightening and the concept of extraterrestrial life as a threat to us was never believable. The movie "Aliens" presented a conception and perception of design of extraterrestrial life that was different from anything else. This movie introduced many revolutionary concepts; the two most prominent of these are the female heroine and the new design for a terrifying alien life form and its surroundings that gave a less perfect view of space.
In her poem "Myth," Natasha Trethewey uses mythology, a unique structure, rhyme pattern, and punctuation to make form and content inseparable. Each of these elements serves to share the stages of grief one goes through one feels at the death of a loved one as well as the feelings of deep loss and longing.
In the article “The Thematic Paradigm” exerted from his book, A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema, Robert Ray provides a description of the two types of heroes depicted in American film: the outlaw hero and the official hero. Although the outlaw hero is more risky and lonely, he cherishes liberty and sovereignty. The official hero on the other hand, generally poses the role of an average ordinary person, claiming an image of a “civilized person.” While the outlaw hero creates an image of a rough-cut person likely to commit a crime, the official hero has a legend perception. In this essay, I will reflect on Ray’s work, along with demonstrating where I observe ideologies and themes.
The hero theory conveys the message that upon understanding heroic ideals present in the texts of one culture, inferences can be made of the significant values of that society. One specific group whose literature conveyed important messages about heroic ideals were the Anglo-Saxons. They built their foundation of heroic ideals on physical strength, loyalty, revenge, bravery, and fame. Although their existence was over 1,000 years ago, the heroic ideals featured in many of their texts are still significant in modern culture. A more recent text, however, that depicts modern heroic traits, is the movie Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins. In this film, Diana, the main character leaves her home; an isolated community, to end World War One in
Like a contemporary Dorothy, Romancing the Stone's Joan Wilder must travel to Columbia and survive incredible adventures to learn that she had always been a capable and valuable person. Romancing the Stone (Robert Zemeckis, 1984) is part of a series of 1980s action comedies that disrupted previous expectations for female heroines. These female protagonists manage to subvert the standard action narrative and filmic gaze, learning to rescue themselves and to resist others' limited vision of them. Not only did these action comedies present strong female characters, they also offered a new filmic experience for female audiences. The commercial success of comic action heroines paved the way for women to appear in serious action roles--without the personal sacrifices required of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. Figures like Joan Wilder serve as an important link between previous strong yet feminine screen personas and current female stars.
Women have made progress in the film industry in terms of the type of role they play in action films, although they are still portrayed as sex objects. The beginning of “a new type of female character” (Hirschman, 1993, pg. 41-47) in the world of action films began in 1976 with Sigourney Weaver, who played the leading role in the blockbuster film ‘Aliens’ as Lt. Ellen Ripley. She was the captain of her own spaceship, plus she was the one who gave out all the orders. Until then, men had always been the ones giving the orders; to see a woman in that type of role was outlandish. This was an astonishing change for the American industry of film. Sometime later, in 1984, Linda Hamilton starred in ‘The Terminator’, a film where she was not the leading character, but a strong female character as Sarah Connor. She had a combination of masculine and feminine qualities as “an androgynous superwoman, resourceful, competent and courageous, while at the same time caring, sensitive and intuitive” (Hirschman, 1993, pg. 41-47). These changes made in action films for female’s roles stirred up a lot of excitement in the “Western society” (Starlet, 2007). The demand for strong female characters in action films grew to a new high when Angelina Jolie starred in ‘Tomb Raider’ in 2001 and then in the sequel, ‘Tomb Raider II: The Cradle of Life’ in 2003 as Lara Croft. Her strong female character was not only masculine, but was also portrayed as a sex object. Most often, strong women in these types of films tend to fight without even gaining a mark. At the end of each fight, her hair and makeup would always be perfect. The female characters in these action films, whether their role was as the lead character or a supporting character, had similar aspects. I...
When William M. Marston, creator of fictional heroine Wonder Woman, asked a girl which female superhero she aspired to be, the girl retorted, “Aw, that’s girls stuff! Who wants to be a girl?” And that is the point; just as the young comic enthusiast suggested, our world has become a dominantly patriarchal society, ranking men over women in the social hierarchy. While some might argue that there is more gender equality in our world now than in any other moment in American history, we still find nonetheless in our culture these continually degrading attitudes towards women. Women today are still only represented as icons of male sexual desire and are only viewed as valuable insofar as they can satisfy that sexual desires. This value is often tied to their attractiveness through their physical qualities, and superhero films offer the medium to accentuate the representation of these qualities. More specifically, superhero movies have become subjected to the male gaze, which proposes that movies are filmed specifically for the heterosexual male audience. This has continued to lead to the falsely characterized perception of women, intriguing the viewer through her hypersexualized style of clothing. Some may claim that superheroes do not relate to actual society and teach us nothing about human nature because they are too fantastical; however, I would suggest that these narratives imply, though indirectly, some theory of human nature. By examining female superhero icons such as Wonder Woman, we can investigate the ways the creators of superhero characters thought both about human nature and the nature of sexual difference. In essence, the portrayal of women is superhero film perpetuate...