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Evaluating the Hero's Journey of Harry Potter - Essay Example

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Customer Name Instructor Date Evaluating the Hero’s Journey of Harry Potter Myths and legends are now discredited as a misconception or work of creative imagination. Joseph Campbell, a famous mythologist, discovered that myths, metaphors, and heroes are an indispensable part of any story irrespective of its time or culture (Campbell and Moyers 4)…
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Evaluating the Heros Journey of Harry Potter
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Evaluating the Hero's Journey of Harry Potter

We instantly feel connected to the ordinary man, who is destined to turn into an epitome of gallantry, because “what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality” (Campbell and Moyers 4). This is why the pattern of a hero’s journey has always been the same in every period. Christopher Vogler and Stuart Voytilla categorized Campbell’s theory into twelve stages. Amazingly, most of the present age literature and cinematic masterpieces fit perfectly on these stages. To prove this theory, we need to compare a modern example of heroic endeavor with these stages. This paper is an attempt to evaluate the journey of Harry Potter, the ultimate icon of a mythic hero for today’s generation, in the movie “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. “ The first stage introduces us to the hero's ordinary world. Voytilla describes it as “the Hero’s home, the safe haven upon which the Special World and the Journey’s outcome must be compared” (Voytilla 8). In this stage, a deliberative effort is made by every storyteller to express the hero’s dissatisfaction with his life. In the movie, Harry is an orphan leading a miserable life under the guardianship of his uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and cousin Dudley. Their attitude is hostile and harry live inside a cupboard. Rowling describes his life in the book as “the Dursleys often spoke about Harry, as though he was something very nasty that couldn’t understand them, like a slug” (Mulholland 108). This aspect of a hero’s life is indispensable because troubled life makes the hero stronger, able to rely on himself, and enhances his decision-making power (Vogler 84). According to Neil Mulholland “Harry is a great wizard. However, often, greatness is bred from childhood strife” (Mulholland 89). The second stage initiates the call to adventure which Campbell believed “signifies that destiny has summoned the hero” (Campbell 48). It could be a call in its literal meaning, or just anything that could compel the hero to leave the ordinary world (Vogler 100). In Harry’s journey, a call comes on his 11th birthday when he receives a “letter from No One” about being accepted in Hogwarts. Later, Rubeus Hagrid appears at the door and informs Harry that he is a wizard and the time has come to join Hogwarts, the school of witchcraft. Third stage implies the hero’s refusal to the call. It happens because of “the fears and insecurities that have surfaced from the Call to Adventure” (Voytilla 8). Harry’s initial response to Hagrid’s proposal is “I think you must have made a mistake. I don't think I can be a wizard." Hero’s reluctance is natural because fear of the unknown is human nature. The uncertainty surrounding the task, and the mysterious special world offered is what entices the hero, and restrain him from taking the step as well (Vogler 107). Fourth stage involves meeting the mentor. Voytilla explains that “the Hero meets a Mentor to gain confidence, insight, advice, training, or magical gifts to overcome the initial fears” (Voytilla 9). In every tale, there is some guiding factor, most likely a man or woman, who compels, explains, and trains the hero (Vogler 39). Harry is mentored initially by Hagrid and later Albus Dumbledore, the principal of Hogwarts. They not only enlighten him ... Read More
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