nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Some problems with the Hero's Journey

HULK EXPLAINS WHY WE SHOULD STOP IT WITH THE HERO JOURNEY SHIT, and let me tell you, I refused the call to read this several times because IT'S IN ALL CAPS!

However, I've hated Joseph Campbell for a long time. I'd like to be able to read about things taking place in a forest without wondering whether it's a liminal place, but brain bleach for such things isn't yet available. Tentative: Mirkwood doesn't seem very liminal, I guess Treabeard's forest is sorta-kinda liminal.

I eventually started reading, and the author is absolutely right that the tools for analysis are not the same as the methods of construction.

And that the hero ought to have some sort of a spark rather than being no one in particular. And when I say no one in particular, I especially mean Neo. This may not be a great example, since many people love The Matrix, but I kept wondering, why is that nebbish the One?

More generally, the theme seems to be that story needs to be driven by distinctive characters who personally want things, and the hero's journey has become a dreary paint-by-numbers exercise. I assume that if "distinctive characters who personally want things" became the rule, some writers would find some way to make that routine, too.

There's a video clip of Matt Stone and Trey Parker (South Park writers) explaining something it took them a long time to learn. Scenes should never be connected by "and then"-- that boring. Scenes should always be connected by "therefore" or "but".

I seem to have put the conclusion in the middle, so all that's left is to mention that the essay has some charming illos, especially the Hulk piggy bank and the Japanese Gilgamesh.

Link thanks to [personal profile] green_knight.

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