Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Hero's Journey

              Dr. Mazerof's lecture on the Hero's Journey resonated very well with the story of Katniss in the Hunger Games. Not only do the Hunger Games follow the over arching patter of the Hero's Journey, but it also involves the secondary elements as well.  The Hero's Journey follows the pattern  of Departure, Initiation, and Return, with each section divided into more detail. We can either evaluate the entire trilogy as a journey, or the individual book. I have picked top just do the first book.
               In Departure we have the call to adventure, refusal of the call, and crossing of the threshold. In Katniss's story, she and Gale discuss leaving District 12, but she refuses. This is the call and refusal. Her sister being picked as tribute and Katniss volunteering is the force that drives her out. The train she leaves on is the crossing of the threshold. Once she boards that train there is no way for her to go back.
               In Initiation we have the road of trials, apotheosis and ultimate boon. Katniss's road of trials is  quite easy, it is her time in the Arena. She struggles not just with the other tributes, but with herself and how she feels. Her apotheosis comes when she and Peeta are the last ones left. She "dies to self" when she decides it is better to die than let the Capitol win. Her ultimate boon is the survival of both her and Peeta, considering most would have considered that impossible beforehand.
               In the Return, we have crossing the return threshold and the freedom to live. We see Katniss return to District 12, and because she is a victor, she should never have to participate in the Games again. She has freedom to live now, but that threatening that is the impetus for the next book.

               The secondary elements are also in the Hunger Games. The "Old Mentor" role is filled by Haymitch. In later books, we see the Shapeshifter in Plutarch.

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