Nov 23 2011

Two different types of magical realism

Published by at 1:32 am under Uncategorized

After reading “She lived in a Story”, I can how it follows the outline of Campbells’ Famous Hero’s Journey. Garcia Marquez’s collected stories are more difficult to decipher and pattern. Why is that? Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is the classic example of story and discourse. There is always a hero or antagonist in a story but how it is told, is what makes the discourse. The “story” can be viewed as the blue print of every movie, performance, and work of literature. It can also be described as a list of events. In my opinion, almost every story in a genre is the same. For example, what is the typical story in a romance? Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl does not like boy. Boy does something heroic to win over girl. Girl likes boy. Discourse is what makes the story unique. It is the way in which the events are depicted and reshaped in their employment. Without discourse, the world as we know it would come to an end. It would drive people insane to read or view the same thing over and over again.

I would even go as far as saying Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is the outline of the story in a movie, performance, or work of literature. In typical movies a hero must first receive a call to embark on a quest into the unknown. This is the first step in the separation or departure stage. The refusal of the call is what follows next. The hero maybe confused or unwilling to confront his/her problem. I do not completely agree with the next step which is the supernatural aid. Although in mainstream stories, the hero usually receives outside help but I don’t believe it is always from the supernatural. What’s to follow is what I like to call: where the action begins. The crossing of the threshold is the point in the story where the hero actually enters the sphere of adventure, leaving behind the safety and comfort of home, to undertake the dark realm where the rules and limits are not known. Once the hero leaves, they begin to be constantly tested which is called the Trials & Victories of Initiation. The hero must of course prove they are worthy to the reader. Typically the hero fails in the beginning, but it is just part of their learning process. Soon after, the hero meets their destine partner in life, their love of their life (Yes even hero’s need love). The next step in Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is something that can be thought as final fight. Campbell calls it Atonement with the father. He uses father probably due to the fact the protagonist is usually an older male figure. When defeating or surpassing the villain, the hero accomplishes its goal, referred to The Ultimate Boon. In my opinion, the return & reintegration with society is the most important stage in the outline of Hero’s Journey. If the reader/audience has a good feeling toward the hero upon his /her return, it was a successful discourse. Freedom to live is the stage where we get to compare our hero at the end, to how he/she was in the beginning. We see the differences in personality, strengths, and maybe even in confidence.

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