Hero’s Journey – Monomyth

Posted on January 16, 2017

by Andy L

What is the Hero’s Journey? (also known as monomyth)

The Hero’s Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. 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. – The Writer’s Journey

More simply stated – the hero’s journey is an adventure tale where the hero archetype sets out to complete a great deed on behalf of others. There are twelve stages in the Hero’s Journey.

  1. Ordinary World
  2. Call to Adventure
  3. Refusal
  4. Meeting with the Mentor
  5. Crossing the Threshold
  6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
  7. Approach to inmost cave
  8. Ordeal
  9. Reward
  10. The Road Back
  11. Resurrection
  12. Return with the Elixir

Each of these stages has specific characteristics that novels and movies follow. Having recently just learned about this technique after watching Moana, I’ve been analyzing movies left and right just to find the success pattern.

Venngage has a great infographic comparing Block Buster Movies and Books from Star Wars (1977) to Lord of the Rings (2003).

Infographic: Hero's Journey | Venngage Infographic: Hero’s Journey | Infographic Maker

Books containing the Hero’s Journey

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

Movies containing the Hero’s Journey

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - directed by Chris Columbus [DVD] The Hunger Games - directed by Gary Ross [DVD] Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch stole Christmas [DVD]

Hopefully you will be as shocked as I was to learn about this literary technique. Enjoy analyzing EVERYTHING now!

Be sure to check Overdrive and hoopla for eBooks and eAudiobooks!

More detail on the Hero’s Journey

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