Ekaterina Sedia’s novel the House of Discarded Dreams, is a science fiction novel that wraps in many elements of fantasy, and revolves around Vimbai, a college student, and a house that seems to reinvent itself based on her dreams and the dreams of her roommates. As the novel goes on, Vimbai shows characteristics of being the basic hero seen by Joseph Campbell. Vimbai can also relate to Van Genepp’s initiation ritual and Propp’s 31 function. Throughout this novel, Vimbai goes on the quest of self-discovery as outlined by Joseph Campbell’s theory of the hero’s journey. Vimbai’s quest entails her to grow and learn to accept her culture and heritage, but to also accept the pain she has caused upon herself from young love. Learning this knowledge allows Vimbai to accept her fallen and forgotten dreams and to draw upon her own strength to save her friends from evil Zimbabwean legends.
Who is the hero?
Campbell had originally outlined in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, who the hero is and the characteristics that go along with being the hero of the story. Typically the story contains a male hero-this is especially true due to the fact that most stories written long ago revolved around the male and Campbell wrote his book in 1949, a male dominated era- and according to Campbell, women represent ultimate wisdom and creation and no journey is necessary for a female. If and when a female goes on a quest, she is in search of her prince in the traditional setting. The hero will often times be of a lower economic sphere, but one that contains special powers or is of a higher birthright that goes unaware to the hero until he embarks on his journey. The hero is typically orphaned, or the parents are absent or uncaring to their child. Because t...
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...ever-changing world around her, and the notion that she is being selfless and saves her friends, to then vow to save the horseshoe crabs she is so fascinated with. Vimbai’s journey was a mental and psychological one that she successfully went on, whether or not the novel resulted in many strange occurrences that helped get her to that point of change.
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