The Hero's Journey, Part III

Photo courtesy of JD Hancock. Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of JD Hancock. Flickr Creative Commons.

The Hero's Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar, Joseph Campbell, that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, and religious ritual. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization. In the case of the main character in the book, Crushed, it is on behalf of womanhood. 

The first four stages of The Hero's Journey were discussed in the previous blog post, The Hero's Journey, Part II. What follows is the second of three phases. How each of these relate to the book, Crushed, is highlighted in italics. Please note that spoilers to the story lie ahead so if you haven't read Crushed we recommend doing so first. 

5.        CROSSING THE THRESHOLD.  At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values. 

At the end of Act I, Grace is honored with the coveted Golden Challis award as she graduates from Finedale, as given to her by her mentor, Lucille. She is returning to the real world and it is not known yet what lies ahead in terms of her marriage (or divorce), her career or her love life. 

6.        TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES.  The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.

Grace is tested in many ways - from the divorce trial to her starting her new business. 

7.        APPROACH.  The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.

Grace employs her new friend, Gigi, as well as many old friends to help her launch her new business, which she's never done before. 

8.        THE ORDEAL.  Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life. 

In the middle of the story Grace actually does face death, including the reflection of her sister's death as well as dealing with the death of her mother.