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The Hero's Journey (Part 2)

Okay, to continue for those who might be curious about The Hero's Journey and why it is significant to the structure of Pluck: The Hero's Journey has three general divisions with many stages within each division:

The Departure. In brief, the hero is living in the so-called “ordinary world” when he receives a call to adventure. Usually, the hero is unsure of following this call—known as the “refusal of the call”—but is then helped by a mentor figure, who gives him counsel and convinces him to follow the call.

David Schnaufer, mid-seventies, Colorado
David Schnaufer in the mid-seventies during his own Hero's Journey. Photo courtesy of Bonnie Carol.

The Journey. The hero ventures forth into a new world where he must face a sequence of tasks and tests until he reaches the main obstacle or enemy that stands in his way to reaching his full realization as a human or his purpose. The hero must put into practice everything he has learned on this journey to overcome the obstacle. As a result of taking this daunting journey, the hero attaining some kind of reward for going through the effort: a physical token or “elixir”, or just good, old-fashioned wisdom. (Or both.)

The Return. Once the hero is ready, he prepares to return to his original world. He undergoes understands of how his adventure has changed him as a person, and is ready to be who he is meant to be. He returns to the original world to bestow the blessings he has gained on those around him.

Campbell articulated many stages in each of the divisions as he studied stories from around the world. Authors, film-makers and story-tellers don't usually include every stage, or the same order of stages that Campbell outlined, but they do tend to follow the general divisions of the call to the Departure, the Journey, the Return. The revelation of the consequences of the Journey can be told, or suggested, or hinted at by the story teller, but is usually left up to the imagination of the viewer or the reader to decide for him or for her.

It was the revelation of those consequences in David's life that astonished me as much as the journey itself.

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